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Archive of: 1970s

Corn farming in McLean County … 800 years ago!

Area farmer Nuel Downs, a lifelong collector of Native American relics, is shown here in mid-July 1972 assisting with an archeological dig at the Noble-Wieting site north of Heyworth.

Urban Renewal, Bloomington Future Site of Library, 1971

This view, looking north-northeast, shows the future site of Bloomington Public Library (opened in 1977).

Emerson School, Bloomington March 1976

Group of children hold hands in a circle at Emerson School, 1976

Built in the early 1900s, Emerson School was demolished in 1985. The old school site was converted to green space and is known today as Emerson Park.

Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival Lunch & Learn Talk Today, 12:10 to 12:40 p.m.

Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival, 1970.

A fascinating discussion was given on the myriad of court battles surrounding the May 30-June 1, 1970 rock & roll festival in southern McLean County. As seen in this photograph, not all of the estimated 60,000 spectators were hippies, yippies, freaks, Bohemians, peaceniks, avant-garde radicals, druggies, merry pranksters, flower children, long-hairs, or drop-outs!

Courthouse Square, Bloomington East Side / Main Street, Late 1970s

Courthouse square, 1970s.

This colorful view shows the 200 block of North Main Street in the late 1970s. All of these buildings are gone, including the Griesheim Building, seen on the left, the granddaddy of downtown office buildings. In late August 1984, it was lost in a spectacular blaze started by an arsonist.

National Bank of Bloomington Drive-In 400 block East Washington Street, c. 1970

National Bank of Bloomington Drive-In, 1970.

Much of what’s seen here is long gone, lost forever to the wrecking ball. The view is the 400 block of East Washington Street looking southwest. The “motor bank” drive-in is no longer there. Today at that location is a former dry cleaners that’s now home to Meltdown Creative Works.

Lost Church First American Baptist of Normal

First Baptist Church in Normal, 1972.

Once Normal’s oldest church building, First American Baptist was located at the northeast corner of School and Mulberry streets. It was built in 1870-1871, making it 130 years old when it was torn down on September 26, 2000.

‘Union’ Depot, December 1979 Bloomington’s West Side

Amtrak Depot, 1979.

Opened in 1913, Union Depot was located just south of West Washington Street on the west side of the Chicago & Alton Railroad tracks. In 1979, this line was used by Amtrak for passenger service but owned by Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Today this mainline is still used by Amtrak but the owner is Union Pacific Railroad. Union Depot’s interior is seen here in December 1979 after completion of the first phase of a $382,000 renovation project.

October Means ‘Rocktober’ Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival Aerials, May 31, 1970

Rocktober Kickapoo festivak, 1970.

The Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival was held outside of the McLean County community of Heyworth on L. David Lewis’ 320-acre farm over Memorial Day weekend 1970. Seen here are two aerials during the festival’s second day, May 31. The festival drew something like 60,000 young folk.

Photo of the Week, 118: Acid Flashback! Local Rock Festival Held 45 Years Ago

Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival held outside of the McLean County community of Heyworth

This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival held outside of the McLean County community of Heyworth, May 30 through June 1, 1970.

Photo of the Week, 110: Hoop Dreams, 1972

Illinois State University's Doug Collins holds an autographed ball featuring the signatures of players, coaches, and team personnel from the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team

Illinois State University's Doug Collins holds an autographed ball featuring the signatures of players, coaches, and team personnel from the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Photo of the Week, 71: Grim Reapers Pay Respects to Fallen Comrade

About 50 members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club led a funeral procession for L. Wayne Martin.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Batemans Restaurant & Ice Cream Saloon, 1873, Bloomington Illinois

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!

Photo of the Week, 66: African-American Voters Organize, February 1972

McLean County Museum of History Minority Voters Coalition 1972

On February 15, 1972, the Minority Voters Coalition of Bloomington-Normal elected officers during a meeting at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Center (now known as the Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center) on the far west side of Bloomington. The goal of the group was to both register and educate minority voters.

Photo of the Week, 37: The “A” Train Stopped in Bloomington back in ‘72

Jazz great Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington and his band performed at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts) on September 18, 1972.

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