Although there are several theories regarding the origin of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, its roots can be traced back to the ancient Celts of Ireland and Northern England. The Celtic New Year begins on November 1st and the festival of Samhain (pronounced “sow-win”) is celebrated on October 31st to mark the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.
Much of my time as Registrar at the McLean County Museum of History is spent looking through the lens of a camera, photographing the 20,000+ objects in our collection. Capturing the perfect image doesn’t always come easily and I’m always impressed by anyone with a good eye for photography. One such individual is Ross Vinson...
The value of each object the Museum owns isn't measured in monetary terms but rather its provenance. Knowing who owned the object, when and where it was used, and for what purpose, helps us to preserve the history of McLean County.
The McLean County Museum of History holds a small collection of artifacts used by the Meyer Brewing Company of Bloomington, IL, a local brewery that enjoyed much success prior to Prohibition.
Josephine Sanders was born in Bloomington, IL, on July 21, 1900. She was better known by her stage and screen name, Irene Delroy.
This wine decanter originally arrived at the McLean County Museum of History as a time capsule.
What do a chicken and a high explosive artillery shell have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke, but here in McLean County, they do in fact share something in common!
How long exactly have people been screaming for ice cream? No one really knows for sure; but, I do know that nothing beats the taste of homemade ice cream!
This painting was created by Nina Kickbusch Griffin for the 1937 All-Illinois Society of Fine Arts exhibition at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. The Society would later present the award-winning painting to The Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School (ISSCS) where it would be displayed for several years before making its way to The Museum.
The M.E. Doyle Trophy was presented to Eugene Millard after becoming City Champion of the Bloomington Soap Box Derby on July 22, 1937. Millard would go on to win the Central Illinois title and compete at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio.
Trench art has been created in a number of places besides battlefield trenches – army hospitals, POW camps, machine shops, and towns and villages miles away from the action. Read this post to learn about some trench art in our collection, made by military personnel from McLean County
Maybe I have spring fever. Or, maybe it's my excitement for the upcoming play, “Old Hoss" which will be performed March 7th - 9th here in our Governor Fifer Courtroom. Whatever the reason, I'm ready for some baseball; and, what better time to share one of the Museum's most beloved treasures!
The Museum recently received a Normal Sanitary Dairy baseball uniform worn during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Located at 301 Broadway in Normal, the Normal Sanitary Dairy sold milk and other dairy products to McLean County residents from 1930 to 1959.