We are open to the public, and are requiring masks for all visitors over the age of 2. See Plan Your Visit page for additional information.
William C. Beckley and Bernadine Cleo Moots of Cropsey ready for their September 3, 1938 wedding at Saybrook Methodist Church.
The couple would go on to have three sons: Harlan, Bryon, and Lelan. William Beckley passed away in November 1994, and Bernadine followed in October 2003.
Bloomington Police Chief Clyde Hibbens (left) and Officer James Daley examine some of the 1,600 mug shots in the department’s newly acquired “rogues gallery” investigative aid.
We’ve all heard the expression “bull in a china shop,” but how about one in a barbershop?
Construction of a corn crib nears completion at the John C. Thomas farm southeast of Bloomington. This crib, with a 5,000 bushel capacity, featured extra heavy framing, as Thomas looked to the future when it might be converted to the storage of shelled corn.
William Knuth, a laid off boilermaker and hobbyist beekeeper, was called to the Darling Poultry and Fish Market, 218 S. Center St., to corral some swarming bees. He located the queen, brushed her into the box, and the others followed.
Illinois Wesleyan University's Wilder Field was built with Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and materials, the largest of the Depression-era New Deal federal work projects. The football complex is now known as Wilder Field at Tucci Stadium.
The Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School annual festival of 1950 included pressure cooking demonstrations, as well as displays of preserved fruits and floral arrangements. We don’t know the names of any of these “homers” (as ISSCS kids were called), but we do know that the judges were Dr. Lee W. Miller, a professor of biological sciences at Illinois State Normal University, and three ISNU students.
The Irvin was the Twin City’s premier movie house for much of the 20th century. Located on the 200 block of East Jefferson Street, it opened in 1915, closed in 1982, and was torn down in 1987.
Gretchen Stanberry, a senior in the school of music at MacMurray Women’s College in Jacksonville, was the guest speaker before the Bloomington Rotary Club in a July 1938 program at the Illinois Hotel. Ms. Stanberry is seen here with her German shepherd seeing eye dog Queenie.
The distinctive caps worn by graduate nurses at the three Bloomington-Normal hospitals were compared and contrasted during the local Student Nurses Association meeting in June 1958.
Phyllis Fehr (left) of Danvers wears a Mennonite Hospital cap; Lois Welch (center) of Gridley has one from Brokaw Hospital; and Bernice Roth (right) of Saybrook one from St. Joseph’s Hospital.
From 1901 to 1939, Bloomington was home to the Bloomers of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. Here’s Len Backer, Waterloo Red Hawks skipper, protesting a call at long-gone Fans Field, the Bloomers home park. That’s Waterloo backstop Clyde Chell on the right. The Red Hawks beat the Bloomers this night 5-1.
In late June 1951, the Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsored a “Traffic Courtesy Week” in Bloomington-Normal. The event included giving away $5 to those who exhibited courteous behavior to fellow motorists and pedestrians. Here’s Gene Paxton of Paxton Typewriter Co. talking to 13-year-old Ronnie Rider of Bloomington. Ronnie was a $5 winner for stopping his bicycle to let a woman burdened with packages get to her car.
On Tuesday we posted another photograph featuring this neighborhood music class. These children, who were between the ages of thee and six, were led by music teacher Kay Baylor. Presumably, that’s Ms. Baylor with the accordion. We don’t know where this photograph was taken, but we do know Baylor taught out of her home at 407 S. Linden St., Normal. If you can identify this location, let us know!
A group from Illinois State Normal University readies for their two-month tour of the British Isles and the European continent. They were led by Dr. Arthur W. Watterson (far right), who was just named acting head of the Department of Geology and Geography. Watterson Towers is the namesake of Dr. Watterson.
Workmen with local contractor Berenz & Son lay asphalt down the 400 block of North Main Street in Bloomington. Today, the Jaeger’s Candy Shop storefront is occupied by Gigi Bottega. The Miller Music storefront is now Bobzbay.
Tammi Orendorff conducts Kay Baylor’s elementary rhythm band during the summer of 1951. Baylor, who taught piano and music theory from her home, 407 S. Linden St., Normal, organized this “rhythm band” for local children between the ages of three and six. Instruments included castanets, cymbals, bells, rhythm sticks, gongs, and triangles.
In late June 1951, the McLean County 4-H market lamb show was held at the Producers Stock Yards, located at East LaFayette Street and the Illinois Central Railroad on the south end of Bloomington. Here’s Roger Risser of Danvers (left) showing off his “best pen of three.” That’s Wayne Mohr on the right.
In late June 1951, local barbershoppers held a get-together at Phil Hooton’s residence, 3 Country Club Place. Seen here are winners of the impromptu quartet contest. Clockwise from left: Dick Dennie, tenor; Fred Gehrt, baritone; J.H. Bellamy, bass; and Mac Convis, lead
A few hundred yards west of the old Mackinaw River bridge, about one mile west of Lexington, was one of the lovelier swimming holes in all McLean County. Seen here during the summer of 1941 are Christine Kinslow (left) and Christine Underwood, both of Lexington. The owner of the head bobbing in the waters behind them is unknown!