We are open to the public, and are requiring masks for all visitors over the age of 2. See Plan Your Visit page for additional information.
Eugene Field teacher Kathryn Carnahan leads a crowded classroom of 40 first graders in this October 1949 scene. Opened in 1936, Eugene Field in Normal closed as an elementary school in 2005, and today the 81-year-old building serves as the Vocational Training Center for McLean County Unit District No. 5.
Who’s a Eugene Field alum or had children that attended this neighborhood school?
In a pre-Arbor Day observance, members of Lincoln School’s eighth grade class watch Jack Elledge shovel dirt around a newly planted elm tree. Lincoln School, located in Bloomington’s South Hill neighborhood, is now operated by the city’s parks & recreation department as a community center.
Did anyone out there attend Lincoln School back in the day?
The Pantagraph ran this photograph on Valentine’s Day 1947—nearly 70 years ago. Seen here are Raymond School students Jackie Myers and Carol Ann Kominoski sharing a special valentine’s moment … while the teacher isn’t looking, of course!
Do you have any school day valentine memories?
Excelsior School was one of more than 250 one-room schools in McLean County. Joe and Jack Powell working on the kitchen floor while Gayle Bane looks on.
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.
The Bloomington Public Library bookmobile program “bookwagon” parked in front of Bent Elementary School.
This photograph comes from the Museum’s William Brigham Collection.
Located north of Ellsworth, Lone Star was one of eight one-room schools in Dawson Township, which is east of Bloomington. The interesting name speaks to the fact the schoolhouse, painted white, was easily spotted from afar on the “lonely prairie.”
Thanks to Mary Jennings Arbogast and her husband Dan, as well as Darlene Coleman, for assisting the museum in determining that these photographs show the Thomas Metcalf School fifth grade class, circa 1946. They also helped us identify many of the students and the teacher, Christine Thoene. Mary Jennings (Arbogast) is shown in the second photograph, front of the table, left side.
Some 140 patrol boys from nine Bloomington public schools gathered at Franklin School on January 8, 1946, for a joint meeting on traffic safety. Seen here is the gathering’s principal speaker, Capt. Emerson H. Westwick (left) of the Illinois State Highway Patrol, bantering with some of the local lads.
Back in early December 1965, these six-year-old first graders from Lincoln School in Bloomington could sympathize with the wishes expressed in the grating holiday novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
Towanda Grade School kindergartners perform Thanksgiving themed poems and songs for their parents the week of Thanksgiving 1980.
James and Evora Ross, pictured here with their four-year-old daughter Janet, chaired the all-family Jefferson School PTA Halloween party back on October 28, 1957.
The Jefferson School PTA held an all-family Halloween party on October 28, 1957. Seen here are prize winners for the prettiest, most original, and ugliest costumes. The ballerina (prettiest) is Susan Anderson, the robot (most original) Allan Swartz, and the farmer (ugliest) Carolyn Hirsch.
Graduation season is upon us! Seen here are 1938 graduates of Horatio G. Bent School on Bloomington's northwest side.