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Archive of: 1910s

Majestic Theatre, Bloomington May 1937

First opened in 1910, the Majestic Theatre was located at the corner of East and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington. This March 1937 scene shows folks lined up for a musical variety show presented by the employees of State Farm Insurance. The show was held May 26-28.

This old vaudeville house came down in 1956 to make way for the Bloomington Federal Savings and Loan Association building (today known as the Government Center).

Lathrop's Barbershop, 1914

Group of men, and a dog, posing for a photo in a barbershop, 1914.

George Lathrop was a Bloomington barber for many years. it was located on the 400 block of N. Main St.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day card, 1914.

This New Year’s Day card, circa. 1914, comes from the Museum’s Greeting Card Collection.

Kadgihn’s News and Cigar Store Downtown Bloomington, c. 1914

News and cigar shop, 1914

Herman Kadgihn ran a news and cigar shop out of this storefront.

Kleinau & Son confectionary Downtown Bloomington, ca. 1915-1916

Staff of Kleinau's, 1915.

The staff of Kleinau & Son’s is seen here in front of the storefront. Kleinau’s sold candy, ice cream, and fruit at this location.

Halloween Party Mystery

Fraternal Halloween Party, 1918.

This photo is c.1918 and the room is in the Illinois House lobby. It is a Halloween party, though, with party hats decorated with pumpkins, black cats, and skulls.

Normal’s Streetcar ‘Subway’ Ca. 1912

Subway streetcars in Normal, 1912.

This viaduct (or “subway,” as they were once called) was built to enable Bloomington & Normal Railway Co. streetcars to safely cross the Chicago & Alton Railroad mainline in Normal. This viaduct remains open today and is used by automobiles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Billy Shelper Home Sweet Home Founder

Billy Shelper, founder of Home Sweet Home City Rescue Mission

Established in 1917, the Home Sweet Home City Rescue Mission (now known as Home Sweet Home Ministries) provides “food, shelter, and hope to the hungry, homeless, and hurting.”

Bloomington Bloomers Fans Field, 1913

Bloomington Bloomers, 1913.

For nearly of four decades Bloomington fielded a team in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. In 1913, the Bloomers finished a disappointing seventh in the eight-team league.

Boost Bigger, Beautiful Bloomington! C&A Shop Expansion Fund Button, 1910

Bloomington expansion button, 1910.

Buttons like this one, mentioned in the column, were sold to help raise funds for the expansion of the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side. The button’s reverse side tells us it comes from famed button manufacturer Whitehead & Hoag Co. of Newark, NJ. As with most products manufactured in the U.S. at this time, it also had a “union label” indicating it was made by union labor. In this instance it’s stamped “Allied Printing Trades Council.”

Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs Annual Convention, Bloomington 1918

Federation of Colored Women's Club, 1918.

The Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs held its nineteenth convention in Bloomington in late August 1918. Seen here are convention goers gathered before Wayman African Methodist Episcopal (Wayman A M E Church) Church at 804 N. Center St.

Photo of the Week, 124: ‘Swing Time’ at Victory Hall October 1935

904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall

Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families.

Photo of the Week, 115: Threatened Downtown Beauty

Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington

Seen here is the Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington, sometime in 1935. The fate of this lovely seven-story commercial building at the southwest corner of the Museum Square is in the hands of city officials.

The Meyer Brewing Co.

Advertisement from the Bloomington City Directory, 1904

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.

Volunteer Reflection: Drew Brandau

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.

McHistory: Bloomington Dramaturge Explored Gender Roles

Rachel Crothers is all but unknown today as America's most successful female playwright.

Photo of the Week, 70: A Real Animal House

The Animal House opened 100 years ago in early March 1914.

Collection Highlight: Trench Art

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

What the heck is Julia LeBeau playing?

Miss LeBeau’s tin can xylophone was donated to the Museum in 1994 by her good friend Charles Ridenour who believedit needed an appropriate home.We agreed!

Julia LeBeau (1903-1994) was the daughter of George and Nettie LeBeau, owners of a Bloomington music shop. In 1906 she decided she wanted a xylophone, but her father didn't want to spend the money — he didn't think she'd stick with it. Instead, he built this tin-can xylophone for her, using fruit, fish, and vegetable cans purchased from a downtown Bloomington grocery.

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

Photo of the Week, 49: Church League Hoops, ca. 1916

This photograph, circa 1916, shows the church league basketball team from Grace Methodist Episcopal (now Grace United Methodist) Church in Bloomington.

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