We are closed today.
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 Illinois State Questers and the other half from the local Jesse Fell Chapter, the latter raised by way of garage sales. This significant donation to the McLean County Museum of History was undertaken by the Jesse Fell Chapter to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
This beautiful wedding gown was recently donated to the museum. First worn in 1904, it was subsequently worn by 10 brides – all descendants of the original wearer, Miss Alice Myrtle Abbott.
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.
The McLean County Museum of History’s largest artifact, the Tilbury Flash racing plane, has officially arrived at the Central Illinois Regional Airport terminal.
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...
This fascinating photograph is a mystery to Museum staff. The only thing we’re sure about is that it was taken on June 30, 1958.
Although you wouldn’t know it from this past weekend’s weather, the end of May and the beginning of June mark the traditional start of the garden walk season in Bloomington-Normal.
Here are two more photographs from the rural airport’s second annual air show, held August 29, 1948.
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.
My first day here I was given the task of making a finding aid for a nearly 100-year-old collection of World War I material, mainly books and military manuals. A finding aid is a typed inventory of the contents of an archival collection, and as such helps researchers and those interested in the collection find their way around the material.
That had to be my favorite day, as it morphed from handling the objects in the room to having several employees in the museum show me the various archives and vaults that I had yet to see. I clearly didn't understand the scope of the museum collections nor what their accreditation meant for a museum in a city of this size.
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.
On Sunday, April 9, 1937, The Pantagraph ran a photo spread on LeRoy ladies getting ready for Easter church services and family get-togethers.
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.
The dress pictured here was designed in the 1920s and was most definitely influenced by an archaeological event.The geometric beaded pattern was influenced by Egyptian design, but what was the event?