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).
George Lathrop was a Bloomington barber for many years. it was located on the 400 block of N. Main St.
This New Year’s Day card, circa. 1914, comes from the Museum’s Greeting Card Collection.
Herman Kadgihn ran a news and cigar shop out of this storefront.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families.
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.
Rachel Crothers is all but unknown today as America's most successful female playwright.
The Animal House opened 100 years ago in early March 1914.
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
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.
This photograph, circa 1916, shows the church league basketball team from Grace Methodist Episcopal (now Grace United Methodist) Church in Bloomington.