The library reading room is closed this week for lead abatement work.
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.
As the Great Chicago Fire raged out of control the night and early morning of October 8-9, 1871, Mayor Roswell B. Mason made a desperate plea over the telegraph wires for additional firefighters and equipment. This image shows the American Standard locomotive No. 97 that carried the Prairie Birds and their steamer on a flatbed railcar to Chicago.
Early on in my internship I began noticing interesting items on the censuses. While many occupations are familiar even today (photographer, dressmaker, tayloress, student), there were plenty of unusual occupations that made me investigate more...
Union Army veteran Gilbert Henderson Bates sought, in his own eccentric way, to help heal the sectional wounds of fratricidal bloodletting.
Rachel Crothers is all but unknown today as America's most successful female playwright.
A gaggle of Funks, including four sons of local Funk patriarch Isaac (1797-1865), headed West in 1874. Here they are in Yosemite Valley for a family portrait framed by the world famous Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America.