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Archive of: Animals

Rescued Homing Pigeon August 1942

Bloomington policeman holds a wounded homing pigeon, 1942

Elmer Lyons, Bloomington Police Department patrolman, holds a wounded homing pigeon that was rescued by two local women and brought to the station. The police cared for the pigeon at city hall for a few days before crating him (or her) up for a flightless return journey to owner.

Grand Champion Gilt McLean County Fair, Aug. 6, 1958

Champion gilt, 1958.

That’s a proud Walter Gottschalk of Danvers at the 1958 McLean County 4-H Club Fair posing with his grand champion gilt hog.

Hog Heaven Klafke Farm, August 1942

Klafke Farm hog houses, 1942.

Henry E. Klafke was a Normal Township breeder of Duroc Jersey hogs. He’s seen here watching over the scrub down of his hog houses in preparation for fall litters.

Woodford County Fair, Eureka Grand Champion, August 2, 1950

Grand champion barrow, 1950.

Seen here is Delores Moser of Roanoke with her Poland China barrow (“barrow” being a castrated male swine) judged Woodford County grand champion of all breeds in 1950.

A Boy’s Feathered Friend Victory Hall, Normal, c. 1930

Victory Hall boy with a bird, 1930.

Opened after World War I at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families. Seen here is Victory Hall boy George Sanders about 1930.

Frank Simpson’s Steers Farmer City, July 1957

Cattle farming, 1957.

Ralph G. Blue (right) and Harold Davis (with clipboard) weigh steers using a scale box. They’re seen here in early July 1957 at Frank Simpson’s feedlot outside of Farmer City in DeWitt County.

‘Golden Gleam’ Grabs Trophy Society Horse Show, Bloomington, 1953

Horse show, 1953.

Seen here is “Golden Gleam,” who captured the top prize in the parade class. The trophy winning horse was owned by Harold Mortland of Streator but was ridden by Pete Bradley.

East Twin Grove Farmers’ Picnic July 28, 1922

Farmers' Picnic, 1922.

In late July 1922, the McLean County Farm Bureau and the McLean County Home Bureau held a picnic west of Bloomington for farmers and rural folk from six area townships. A crew from Homestead Films, Inc. of Chicago was also there to shoot scenes for a seven-reel silent picture to be called “The Yoke of Age.”

Why did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Wild turkey, 1990.

Seen here are a wild turkey hen and her chick crossing Cabintown Road in Bloomington more than a quarter of a century ago. Happily, wild turkeys, once extirpated from Illinois, have made a comeback over the past several decades.

Photo of the Week, 130: Dogs of War, 1946 Bella and Her Two Surprises

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal, Dog Bella, and two puppies

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though...

Reserve Champions Illinois State Fair, August 17, 1949

Illinois State Fair, 1949.

McLean County 4-H youth have an enviable record when it comes to Illinois State Fair showings. Back on August 17, 1949, for instance, McLean County boasted three reserve champions. Seen here (left to right) at the fairgrounds in Springfield are Gordon Ropp of Normal, winner in the Jersey class.

Photo of the week, 121: Miller Park Fishing Season Underway -- June 1938

Fishing at Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side

Did you know today, June 18, is National Go Fishing Day?

Slitherin’ no more Mystery Pic, 1958

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.

Photo of the Week, 120: Carl Loeseke’s Homing Pigeons, 1938

Seen here is Bloomington restaurateur Carl J. Loeseke tending to many of his homing pigeons at his 1103 W. Moulton St. (now MacArthur Ave.) residence

Seen here is Bloomington restaurateur Carl J. Loeseke tending to many of his homing pigeons at his 1103 W. Moulton St. (now MacArthur Ave.) residence on Bloomington’s west side. This photograph dates to mid-June 1938.

Slitherin’ no more Mystery Pic, 1958

Large snake, 1958.

This fascinating photograph is a mystery to Museum staff. The only things we’re sure about is that it was taken on June 30, 1958 and that the snake is a Bullsnake (now called Gophersnake). We do not know the who, where, or why.

Volunteers: Helping the Museum make history every day

Cane given to Isaiah Dillon.  The dates on the inscription, 1855 – 1905, correspond with Isaiah and Mary Fisher Dillon’s wedding anniversary.

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.

Photo of the Week, 108: Beekeeping During Wartime Sugar Shortage

Beekeeping During Wartime Sugar Shortage

In 1942, Edward Adams discussed the benefits of raising honeybees during the sugar shortage and civilian rationing spurred by World War II.

Photo of the Week, 97: Betsy Lee's Morning "Airing," January 1947

Betsy Lee's Morning

Four times a day, Margaret Brechbeller and her fox terrier Betsy Lee would go out for an "airing" around the block surrounding her Washington Street residence.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed … Llama? McLean County Christmas, 1958

Santa and a llama, 1958.

In the week before Christmas 1958, Santa Claus paid a visit to Bloomington’s Forest Park to inspect the local reindeer stock. But Old St. Nick found his attention monopolized by a nosy llama.

Photo of the Week, 85: Tarzan Gets Heartfelt Farewell, April 1941

On April 5, 1941,

On April 5, 1941, "Tarzan," a beloved crow well known to children in the Illinois Wesleyan University neighborhood, was laid to rest in the backyard of the Elwood O. Allison home.

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