March 30th, 2023

Guy Fraker -- 2023 History Maker

Central Illinois roots and Abraham Lincoln tugged at Guy Fraker, bringing this Missouri-born, suburban New York City youth to a long-time Bloomington career.Guy’s family had deep roots in central Illinois and the University of Illinois. When Guy was a child, the family visited his grandmot...
5 mins read, by Norris Porter

March 30th, 2023

Charles & Willie Halbert -- 2023 History Makers

The Lord's mercies are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.Lamentations 3:23Standing for justice and deep in their faith, Charles and Willie Halbert are community stalwarts to ensure fairness and equality for all. Plus, their generosity has fed multitudes, com...
4 mins read, by Norris Porter

March 30th, 2023

Dotti Bushnell -- 2023 History Maker

The rich aroma of spices has followed Dotti Bushnell throughout her life, from her childhood in India to her 47-plus year proprietorship of The Garlic Press in Uptown Normal.Dotti’s parents were Presbyterian missionaries in India, where she grew up surrounded by Indian culture and attended...
4 mins read, by Norris Porter

March 30th, 2023

Hank & Mary Campbell -- 2023 History Makers

Habitat houses, formerly incarcerated women welcomed back, student discards re-used, food distributed, children sheltered, and a Kenyan clinic sustained – contributions Hank and Mary Campbell have made and continue to support. These two retired Illinois State University (ISU) professors have neve...
4 mins read, by Norris Porter

January 2nd, 2023

Read our 2022 annual report

Check out our 2022 Annual Report below!...
1 mins read, by

December 14th, 2022

Quarterly Magazine -- Winter 2022-23

Check out the latest Quarterly Magazine!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

November 29th, 2022

Press Release: Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

McLean County Museum of History in Top 3.3% of the CountryAwarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of MuseumsBLOOMINGTON, IL (11/29/2022) -– The McLean County Museum of History has, once again, received the highest national recognitio...
3 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

October 24th, 2022

Press Release: Executive Director Julie Emig to be out on medical leave through December

Executive Director Julie Emig to be out on medical leave through DecemberBloomington- Executive Director Julie Emig is out on medical leave from the McLean County Museum of History until December. Her prognosis is exceptionally good with a full recovery expected. While Jul...
1 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

September 27th, 2022

Press Release: Museum Reinvests in Preservation of Historic Markers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 1:00 p.m.CONTACT: Norris Porter, Director of Development at nporter@mchistory.org or (309) 827-0428 ext. 104Museum Reinvests in Preservation of Historic Markers,Set...
2 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

September 1st, 2022

Quarterly Magazine -- Fall 2022

Check out our Fall 2022 Quarterly Magazine! ...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

August 11th, 2022

Press Release: Breaking Bread in McLean County Continues to Provide Food for Thought

Breaking Bread in McLean County Continues to Provide Food for ThoughtBLOOMINGTON, IL — A partner program of the McLean County Museum of History (MCMH), BN Welcoming, Design Streak at Illinois State University, and Heartland Community College has received two award...
5 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

June 1st, 2022

Quarterly Magazine -- Summer 2022

Check out our latest On the Square Quarterly Magazine!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

March 29th, 2022

2022 History Makers: Deanna Frautschi & Alan Bedell

Deanna Frautschi & Alan Bedell2022 History MakersTwo McLean County residents with working class roots continue to make history as major community and philanthropic leaders. Deanna Frautschi and Alan Bedell both impact many lives with their generous souls, nurtured ...
5 mins read, by Norris Porter

March 29th, 2022

2022 History Makers: Myra & George Gordon

“Tikkun Olam,” a phrase in Hebrew meaning to “repair the world,” sums up George and Myra Gordon’s many community contributions, including education, recycling, and planting trees.Their multiple involvements are legend. Between the two, there are almost 60 years of environmental activism, g...
5 mins read, by Norris Porter

March 21st, 2022

Press Release: MCMH Wins Community Partnership Award for “Breaking Bread in McLean County”

MCMH Wins Community Partnership Award for “Breaking Bread in McLean County”Bloomington, IL-The McLean County Museum of History (MCMH) received an award for Superior Achievement in Community Partnerships by the Illinois Association for Museums (IAM) in recognition ...
3 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard
0 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

September 1st, 2021

Treasures Under the Dome -- Part 1

Treasures Under the Dome will be a semi-regular video series that showcases one of the objects, papers, or images in our collections & archives that is not routinely on display at the Museum.Watch on YouTube...
1 mins read, by Norris Porter

August 24th, 2021

Two more digitization grants!

The McLean County Museum of History is the recipient of two digitization grants to expand its efforts in making the Pantagraph Negatives Collection more readily available to the public online. The first grant in the a...
2 mins read, by Norris Porter

April 15th, 2021

Barbara Stuart -- 2021 History Maker Honoree

Barbara served for several years as president of the Normal Public Library Board and became the first president of the Friends of the Normal Public Library. She founded seven activist organizations: Young Adult Problems Study Group, The Minority Advocacy Council, the Minority Complaints about Pol...
2 mins read, by Norris Porter

April 15th, 2021

Robert and Marilyn Sutherland -- 2021 History Maker Honorees

During their over five decades in Bloomington-Normal, Bob and Marilyn Sutherland participated in many ways to help make this a better community for everyone, particularly for those who often cannot make their own voices heard. Bob "has been arrested, investigated, and vilified, but he can�...
2 mins read, by Norris Porter

April 15th, 2021

Jerry and Carole Ringer -- 2021 History Maker Honorees

Jerry and Carole’s shared passion for the arts is well-known in the community. Carole says, “(Art) helps to define the quality of life. Even if you are well able to put food on the table, culture is needed for the soul, mind, and spirit.”Carole was a volunteer and ultimately a professional...
2 mins read, by Norris Porter

April 16th, 2020

Cemetery Walk Videos Now Online

The McLean County Museum of History has been a strong supporter of the arts and live theater for many years. And in turn, the arts community has reciprocated that strong support of the Museum and our educational programs, helping us bring to life our vibrant and diverse local history through live...
2 mins read, by Candace Summers

March 13th, 2020

Museum Closed to the Public

In the interest of the safety of our patrons, volunteers, and staff in light of the developing COVID-19 situation regionally and nationally, the McLean County Museum of History and Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center will be closed to the public beginning Saturday, March 14. Should condit...
2 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

September 30th, 2019

Practicing Inclusion at the McLean County Museum of History

The McLean County Museum of History welcomes and values all visitors. We are committed to representing the entire community by sharing your history, your story. In fact, it is part of our mission to “reflect the diversity of McLean County,” and we take that mission seriously. As an educational in...
4 mins read, by Torii Moré

March 19th, 2019

Henry Gay Named 2019 History Maker Honoree

It’s a rough road from the Louisiana cotton fields to Bloomington-Normal, with obstacles every step of the way.   Henry Gay Sr. completed that journey with dignity and standing up for human rights.Born outside Shreveport, Louisiana on August 5, 1924, Henry grew up in the segregated South. ...
4 mins read, by Divah Griffin

March 19th, 2019

Jana Edge named 2019 History Maker Honoree

How does a small-town girl from Wisconsin find herself in a C5A Air Force transport, directing Russian soldiers unloading relief supplies?Jana Edge did not plan to enter nursing, but looking at the limited options open to an educated woman in the 1950s – secretarial, nursing or education –...
6 mins read, by Divah Griffin

March 19th, 2019

Richard and Judy Buchanan Named 2019 History Maker Honorees

What happens when you mix a Chicago Irish Democrat with a small-town Illinois Baptist Republican?  - The amazing community servant duo of Richard and Judy Buchanan.Judy grew up on Chicago’s southside and in the Englewood neighborhood. her father and mother were both first generation Irish-...
6 mins read, by Divah Griffin

November 1st, 2018

On the Square--Winter 2018/19

Check out our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

September 26th, 2018

Newsletter: Fall 2018

Check out our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

Newsletter: Summer 2018

See newsletter below!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

March 19th, 2018

Don Munson Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Donald G. Munson was born September 26, 1941, in Gibson City and attended Gibson City schools. Growing up an only child, Don spent a lot of time listening to music, reading, and listening to the radio, a seemingly very metropolitan source of news and entertainment. 'When I graduated I had ne...
10 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

March 19th, 2018

Paul and Sandra Harmon Named 2018 History Maker Honorees

Paul and Sandra Harmon shake their heads when they’re referred to as a “power couple,” but that’s how many people in the community describe them. This reluctant “power couple” first met during their freshman year at the University of Dubuque in Iowa, marrying shortly after they graduated in 1964....
11 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

March 19th, 2018

Ronn Morehead Named 2018 History Maker Honoree

Ronn grew up in Normal, Illinois. Working in his father’s tavern as a young man, Ronn feels, shaped him and helped prepare him for the workforce. On Sundays, Ronn would go to church, then head to his father’s tavern on Front Street. If he got his work done in time, he could play shuffleboard with...
8 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

March 15th, 2018

Lovell Named Executive Director

Adam Lovell, of Reedsville Wisconsin, has been named the new Executive Director at the McLean County Museum of History. Lovell has over 18 years’ experience in museum operations. Most recently he spent two years as Assistant Director and Curator at the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wi...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

March 14th, 2018

2018 History Makers Announced

The McLean County Museum of History announced on Tuesday four recipients of the 2018 History Makers award to be presented during the Museum’s sixth annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Each year, the History Makers Gala recognizes senior citizens who...
2 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

Newsletter: Spring 2018

See our latest issue of the On The Square Newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Susan Hartzold

December 19th, 2017

Pages from the Past Available Now

“A Page from Our Past,” a weekly look at Central Illinois and McLean County history, debuted in the Sunday Pantagraph on December 18, 2005. Since first appearing in Bloomington’s longtime daily paper, there have been more than 600 original columns in this award-winning series. This highly anticip...
3 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

December 14th, 2017

A message from our Museum director

Dear Museum members and friends, You have likely heard the news that I will be leaving the McLean County Museum of History next year for a new opportunity with the Town of Normal. I wish I could have personally delivered the news to each of you in person, and perhaps I am in this moment. I...
2 mins read, by Beth Whisman

December 4th, 2017

Illinois Bicentennial flag raising kicks off year of programs

The State of Illinois will celebrate its 200th birthday on Dec. 3, 2018. To help kick off a yearlong celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial, communities across the state hosted a simultaneous Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony at noon on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.The County of McLean hosted...
2 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

November 21st, 2017

Collection Storage Improvement Fund Drive Underway

This holiday season, the McLean County Museum of History is raising $5,500 to upgrade our collections storage space to further meet museum and archival standards and ensure our collections are preserved for future generations. Our collection contains more than 20,000 objects donated from local re...
3 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

November 21st, 2017

Newsletter: Winter 2017/18

Download our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

November 3rd, 2017

CIADA Makes Donation to FiHC

In celebration of the organization's 100th anniversary, the Central Illinois Antique Dealers Association (CIADA) presented a generous donation of $825.00 to be used towards scholarships and expenses for Futures in History Camp 2018. CIADA webmaster and vendor Mary Lynn Edwards presented Muse...
1 mins read, by Hannah Johnson

September 15th, 2017

Remembering Those Who Served- World War I Veterans at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery

As was true from coast to coast across the United States, McLean County men from all walks of life answered the call to arms when the country entered the Great War on April 6, 1917. Over 5,000 men served in the military—half of whom volunteered; half of whom were drafted. An additional 675 facult...
3 mins read, by Candace Summers

Newsletter: Fall 2017

Download the fall 2017 newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

August 4th, 2017

Museum, Prairie Pride Coalition host trip to Albert Cashier musical in Chicago

BLOOMINGTON - The McLean County Museum of History is currently taking reservations for a special bus trip to see “The Civility of Albert Cashier”, a limited-run musical that focuses on the life of a Central Illinois Civil War soldier who defied contemporary gender roles. A matinee performance, th...
4 mins read, by Bill Kemp

July 26th, 2017

Museum to be Beneficiary of Schnucks' Bags 4 My Cause Program

The McLean County Museum of History, a nationally accredited, not-for-profit educational institution, is proud to be a beneficiary of the Schnucks – Bags 4 My Cause program. The program, launched in May 2017, is designed to support local not-for-profits through the sale of reusable bags. During t...
2 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

Newsletter: Summer 2017

Read our latest newsletter...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

June 1st, 2017

Young Men's Club Funds Scholarships for Eight Campers

(Pictured L-R: John William Yoder, Hannah Johnson, McLean County Museum of History, Frank Hoffman, President YMC. Photo Credit: Robert E. Handley YMC)Shout out to the Young Men’s Club! On Tuesday, May 30 the YMC, through its Youth Opportunities Foundation, presented the Museum’s Education Program...
3 mins read, by Hannah Johnson

April 11th, 2017

Museum announces 2017 History Maker Honorees

The McLean County Museum of History announced today five recipients of the 2017 History Makers award to be presented during the Museum’s sixth annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 15 at Illinois State University’s Brown Ballroom in the Bone Student Center.Each year, the History Makers Gala r...
2 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

April 11th, 2017

Judy Stone Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Judy Stone was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 1932. After growing up in Ohio, Judy received her bachelor’s degree in English from DePauw University and attended Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston to continue her studies. It was in Evanston that Judy met her husband Jerry, who was workin...
9 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

April 11th, 2017

Jesse Smart Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Jesse Smart was born on April 29, 1939 on a small family farm in Pike County, IL. After graduating as class valedictorian at East Pike High School, Jesse went on to study agricultural education at the University of Illinois. It was there, in Urbana-Champaign, that Jesse met his wife Susan. Since ...
9 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

April 11th, 2017

Jeanne and Charles Morris Named 2017 History Makers Honorees

The story of how Jeanne and Charles Morris met “usually gets a smile,” according to Charles. The two met as college students working at a summer resort on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. Each September for two years, they went their separate ways - Jeanne returned to Spelman College in Atlanta, GA a...
7 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

April 11th, 2017

Craig Hart Named 2017 History Makers Honoree

Craig Hart was born on January 11, 1934 in Streator, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics and his Master’s degree in Business from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. While in school, Craig was in the naval training program at the University and upon gra...
8 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

January 24th, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors joins Museum's campaign for local education, exhibits

The Mitsubishi Motors U.S.A. Foundation, in partnership with O'Brien Mitsubishi of Normal, presented the McLean County Museum of History today with a $50,000 gift to support the Museum’s free education programs and to help complete ongoing upgrades that are outlined by the Museum’s Extending...
2 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

December 25th, 2016

Merry Christmas!

The Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and members of the McLean County Museum of History hope you are able to “cast dull care away” on this Christmas Day. Oh, and whatever Santa’s drinking here—we want some!...
1 mins read, by Bill Kemp

December 5th, 2016

Newsletter: Winter 2016/2017

Read our latest newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

October 11th, 2016

Questers help restore priceless 1873 ‘bird’s eye’ view of Bloomington

International Questers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and preservation of historical objects, donated $1,500 to the McLean County Museum of History for the restoration of a priceless 1873 "bird's eye" view of Bloomington. Half the donation came from...
5 mins read, by Bill Kemp

Newsletter: Fall 2016

Read our latest newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

June 17th, 2016

Museum exceeds $3 million campaign goal

The McLean County Museum of History has surpassed its $3 million campaign goal to fund significant improvements including a new permanent exhibit and Museum-wide technology upgrades.Campaign Co-Chair and Board President Carolyn Yockey made the announcement Thursday night during the Museum’s annua...
2 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

May 12th, 2016

Museum Continues Long History of Serving Older Adults

May is Older Americans Month. Designated in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, this time is set aside to recognize the contributions that seniors make in their communities. We at the McLean County Museum of History agree that history is made every day and by people of all ages. No matter the mont...
4 mins read, by Anthony Bowman

April 9th, 2016

Tri-Valley History Fair has long history at the Museum

It’s that time of year again! Projects created by seventh grade students attending Tri-Valley Middle School are now on display throughout the halls of the Museum from now until April 25. Projects on display feature a wide variety of topics including local favorites such as Steak n’ Shake, the Gam...
3 mins read, by Candace Summers

March 29th, 2016

Father Ric Schneider Named 2016 History Makers Honoree

Born July 21, 1932 in Louisville, KYSince Father Ric Schneider arrived in Bloomington to become the pastor of St. Mary’s Parish 23 years ago he has built St. Mary’s into an institution that contributes to the well-being of the entire community, serving the needy regardless of faith.Born Raymond T...
7 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

March 29th, 2016

Gordon Ropp Named 2016 History Makers Honoree

Born April 5, 1933 in Normal, ILIt is impossible to study the history of agriculture and rural life in McLean County without examining the career of Gordon Ropp. His dedication to the advancement of agriculture and enrichment of rural life has played an instrumental role in shaping McLean County....
7 mins read, by Lauren Lacy

March 29th, 2016

Jack Porter Named 2016 History Makers Honoree

Born June 4, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, Jack Porter’s passion for social justice has defined his life and career over five decades. Inspired by his Christian faith and his experiences while studying in India, Jack has long immersed himself in local struggles to end unfair housing practices, to fi...
7 mins read, by Beth Whisman

March 29th, 2016

Jill Hutchison Named 2016 History Makers Honoree

Born March 8, 1945 in The Bronx, New YorkA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and an internationally respected authority on the game, Jill Hutchison’s first brush with organized athletics was her seventh grade basketball team. But soon after, the self-proclaimed “Army brat” transferred to G...
6 mins read, by Beth Whisman
0 mins read, by Torii Moré

March 7th, 2016

Special invitation to Abraham Lincoln fans

What a coup for the McLean County Museum of History to have Douglas L. Wilson speak!He is on any Abraham Lincoln fan's list of top Lincoln scholars in the nation. He is the leading authority on the work of William Herndon, Lincoln's long-time law partner and biographer which dominates a...
2 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

January 18th, 2016

'Making a Home’ exhibit begins new era for Museum

Who are the people who have made McLean County their home? Where did they come from and how did they get here? What did they experience after they arrived?On Monday, January 18, 2016 the McLean County Museum of History unveiled the new exhibit, "Making A Home", that will help answer the...
6 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

November 24th, 2015

Newsletter: Winter 2015/16

Read our latest newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

November 19th, 2015

Executive Director Greg Koos to retire after 39 years of leadership, preservation, vision

As the McLean County Museum of History prepares for major exhibit and technology changes that usher in a new era of teaching and promoting local history, the man who -- working with his mentor Barbara Dunbar -- transformed the McLean County Historical Society’s operations into a nationally accred...
4 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

October 13th, 2015

The Tilbury Flash on display at Central Illinois Regional Airport

The McLean County Museum of History’s largest artifact, the Tilbury Flash racing plane, has officially arrived at the Central Illinois Regional Airport terminal.Removed from display at the Museum to make way for the new Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center, the Tilbury Flash has been in st...
4 mins read, by Beth Whisman

April 28th, 2015

Peg and John Kirk, 2015 McLean County History Makers

John Kirk, professor, playwright, theater director, community volunteerMargaret "Peg" Kirk, teachers' advocate, educator, actress, volunteerThe 2015 McLean County History Makers will be honored during the Museum's annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 25 at Illinois Sta...
8 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

April 28th, 2015

Sonja Reece, 2015 McLean County History Maker

Sonja Reece, Normal Town Council member, business leader, community advocateThe 2015 McLean County History Makers will be honored during the Museum's annual History Makers Gala on Thursday, June 25 at Illinois State University's Brown Ballroom in the Bone Student Center. Tickets are on ...
6 mins read, by Beth Whisman

April 28th, 2015

Merlin Kennedy, 2015 McLean County History Maker

The local story of the American Civil Rights Movement cannot be told without a chapter on Merlin Kennedy. His unique style of leadership and bold demonstrations against segregation made national headlines as the nation struggled to redefine race relations. Merlin was born in Decatur, IL and was d...
8 mins read, by Beth Whisman

December 3rd, 2014

Newsletter: Winter 2014/15

Read our latest newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

September 15th, 2014

Archives Photo Project is Progressive Step Forward for Collection Accessibility

Research is the starting point of many projects within a museum. It is safe to say the Archives in the McLean County Museum of History is an important resource for staff and public research. The Archives' photo collections serves a crucial role in this research. While written records can giv...
3 mins read, by Bill Kemp

August 8th, 2014

10 things you should know about the Extending Excellence Campaign

The McLean County Museum of History has launched a $3 million campaign to fund significant improvements including a new permanent exhibit and Museum-wide technology upgrades.Members of the Extending Excellence campaign committee and Museum staff made the announcement Thursday night during the Mus...
4 mins read, by Jeffery Woodard

June 23rd, 2014

History in the Making

Since the White House declared June to be the 2014 LGBTQ+ Pride Month, I thought it would be appropriate to look at a brief history of LGBTQ+ equal rights movement in the last few years. February. 12, 2004: Dorothy “Del" Martin and Phyllis Lyon became the first homosexual couple to be marrie...
6 mins read, by Callie VanAntwerp

Newsletter: Summer 2014

Read our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

April 16th, 2014

We're Special! -- The MCMH Library

It's National Library Week, which means libraries across the country are celebrating the positive impacts they have on the community around them. In our community, some libraries immediately come to mind – Bloomington and Normal public libraries, Milner, and Ames. We have our own li...
3 mins read, by Torii Moré

February 25th, 2014

Newsletter: Spring 2014

Read our latest newsletter....
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

December 18th, 2013

Stocking stuffers available in the Museum’s On the Square gift shop

Need some last minute gifts? The Museum has you covered! Come on down to our gift shop and discover some wonderful stocking stuffers! In addition to dozens of books pertaining to local history and Lincoln, there are many unique items for the folks on your Christmas list! Greeting Cards with ph...
2 mins read, by Torii Moré

December 1st, 2013

Newsletter: Winter 2013/14

Read our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

September 1st, 2013

Newsletter: Fall 2013

Read our latest newsletter!...
1 mins read, by Torii Moré

August 30th, 2013

Welcome to the new www.mchistory.org!

Greetings and thank you for visiting our new blog on our new website! This website is a portal to our many resources and will keep visitors up-to-date on our events and activities. We hope you find it simple to navigate and full of useful information. We would like to take this chance to thank...
2 mins read, by Torii Moré