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Archive of: Organizations

Red Cross Nurse’s Aide Corps World War II Home Front

Red Cross WWII nurses, 1943.

Volunteers for this wartime home front program pledged 150 hours or more annually for non-technical nursing at stateside military and civilian hospitals. More than 200,000 women served in the Red Cross Nurse’s Aide Corps. Unfortunately, no one is identified.

Why So Serious? Knight of Pythias, 1934

Knight of Pythias, 1930s.

The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal society organized in the 1860s, maintained a Bloomington chapter for more than a century. Seen here are unidentified members of Damon Lodge No. 10. Although this photograph is undated, research tells us that the local Pythians celebrated their 64th anniversary in Bloomington on February 19, 1934.

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.

Knights of Columbus’ New Home 1206 N. Main St., Bloomington December 1927

New Knights of Columbus house, 1927.

In December 1927, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service and fraternal organization, converted the Snell residence into their new club quarters. The K of C remained there for about a decade.

Ready, Aim, Fire! BPD Firing Range, May 1936

Bloomington Fire Department firing range, 1936.

Seen here are four members of the Bloomington Police Department taking target practice with their Smith & Wesson .38 service revolvers. The more industrious members of the BPD had earlier converted a hayloft in the garage wing of old City Hall into a combination clubroom and firing range!

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.”

Holiness Tabernacle Normal, 1929

Holiness Tabernacle, 1929.

The Central Illinois Holiness Association, an interdenominational camp meeting grounds, is situated east of Underwood Park off Jersey Avenue. The association dates to 1883 and was first located in Farmer City, DeWitt County. The association relocated to Normal in 1894 and this property was acquired in 1916.

Normal Firefighters Undated

Normal Fire Department, undated.

These tough guys are Normal volunteer firefighters, though the photo is undated and no one is identified. For much of the town’s history, Normal’s fire department was operated on a volunteer basis. The department went professional in 1969, and nine years later, in 1978, Normal firefighters organized Local 2442 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

IAA Dedication September 1961

Aerial view of the Illinois Agricultural Association, 1961.

More than 15,000 folks attended the dedication of the Illinois Agricultural Association headquarters on September 7, 1961. This aerial photograph, with a view to the southeast, was taken that very same day!

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.

Bloomington Centennial ‘Young Pioneers’ Parade, September 19, 1950

Bloomington Centennial, 1950.

The City of Bloomington celebrated its centennial over a seven-day extravaganza, September 17-23, 1950 (though the kickoff dance held September 15 somehow didn’t count, if one goes by the banner pictured here). Anyway, festivities included a “Young Pioneers” parade through downtown Bloomington on September 19.

‘Swing Time’ at Victory Hall October 1935

Swing set, 1935.

Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families. At the time of this photograph (unfortunately, no one is identified) Victory Hall was home to 43 “wards”.

Flag Day, 1948

Local Girl Scouts hoist Old Glory at Forrest Park in south Bloomington in preparation for Flag Day 1948. Running the Stars and Stripes is Mary Jane Anderson, assisted by Joanie Magirl. In the background (left to right) are Karen Figg, Carole Colteaux, and Peggy Bennington. Happy Flag Day from the Museum!

Springtime in “BloNo’ Iris Walk, 1939

Although you wouldn’t know it from this past weekend’s weather, the end of May and the beginning of June mark the traditional start of the garden walk season in Bloomington-Normal.

Photo of the Week, 112: Lincoln Marker Dedication, June 1922

Lincoln Marker Dedication, June 1922

In 1922 and 1923, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected 19 markers in Central Illinois commemorating the route Abraham Lincoln traveled on the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Photo of the Week, 111: Libraries Before the Internet Era

patron searches the Withers Public Library non-fiction card catalog in March 1940.

An unidentified patron searches the Withers Public Library non-fiction card catalog in March 1940.

Photo of the Week, 92: Thanksgiving in the Great Depression, 1938

Photo of the Week, 92: Thanksgiving in the Great Depression, 1938

On the day before Thanksgiving in 1938, the Young Men's Commercial Club of Bloomington prepared gift baskets for local needy families.

Photo of the Week, 78: War Clouds Looming

Seen here are Bloomington area Girl Scouts training as blackout and air raid messengers. From left to right: Charlotte Ratcliffe, Isabel Gottschalk, Kay Johnston, and Gloria Sampson.

On November 16, 1941, with the likelihood of American entry into World War II increasing with each passing day, The Pantagraph ran a photo essay on the type of work women should expect come wartime on the home front.

Photo of the Week, 75: Amen and Let's Eat!

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School.  Betsy Ross Cottage, 1955

Established in 1864/1865, the Illinois' Soldiers' Orphans' Home (later renamed ISSCS) was a state-run orphanage in north Normal.

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.

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