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Archive of: Towns -- Bloomington

Fifth annual Corn Belt Coin Show July 14-15, 1962

The two-day Corn Belt Coin Show in July 1962 was held at the Illinois Hotel (now Illinois House) in downtown Bloomington. Some 1,500 persons were expected to attend the show. Folks here are looking at a $100,000 silver dollar display. If you recognize anyone in this photo, please let us know.

An Old Master returns home ‘Doc’ Bradshaw, July 19, 1962

Kenneth “Doc” Bradshaw, one of the more accomplished pianists to come out of the Twin Cities, returned home in July 1962 after a seventeen-year absence. He performed before a capacity crowd at Miller Park. Doc is seen here warming up in the bandstand with Dorothy Ann Burkhart, a former student of his. Who out there recalls Doc Bradshaw?

Glen Dotson and ‘Sparky’ Towanda, January 1941

Glen Dotson is seen here in late January 1941 with his new pet pigeon “Sparky.” Glen’s previous pigeon had been killed by an automobile. After reading about Glen’s loss, Lewis Hodge of Bloomington gave the Towanda boy a new pigeon, Sparky, who was said to be well-trained and fond of music.

New American citizen May 24, 1941

Twenty-six people became American citizens in a naturalization ceremony held May 24, 1941, in the McLean County Courthouse. Overseeing the proceedings was Circuit Judge W.C. Radliff. Seen here is an unidentified woman completing her naturalization paperwork.

Some of the women who became U.S. citizens on this day included Catherina Fillipponi, Marguerite Grundler, and Frieda Wilde. If you can identify the woman shown here, please let us know!

Parking meters perplex motorists Downtown Bloomington, May 1941

Parking meters were first installed in downtown Bloomington in February 1940. By the following spring these contraptions were still confusing local residents, as illustrated in this May 1941 Pantagraph photograph. The befuddled gentleman is local resident L.C. Hill.

Woops! Roller-skating messenger State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

More than a week ago we posted a photograph from this set. Here’s another one. At the time, State Farm was testing the feasibility of having staff at its downtown Bloomington building deliver mail on roller skates. Seen here is Fayne Hoobler taking a rare tumble. Sitting at the desk is Margaret Warrick.

City Hoosegow September 1938

Old Bloomington City Hall, located at the corner of East and Monroe streets downtown, included eight narrow holding cells. These were located in the basement.

Whites-only beach Miller Park, Bloomington, July 1940

From the 1910s into the 1950s, there were racially segregated beaches at Miller Park. The much larger and much nicer beach shown here was set aside for white residents. The black beach was located in the lagoon-like part of the lake beyond the arched stone bridge seen in the distance. African Americans were also denied access to the spacious bathhouse next to the “white” beach.

Roller-Skating messengers State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

Anyone remember when State Farm used staff on roller skates?

Downtown Bloomington September 1938

This view of downtown Bloomington looks north. The foreground includes a good look at the old city hall, which was located at the northwest corner of East and Monroe streets.

In the distance one can espy the Keiser-Van Leer building (later Clark and Barlow and now East Street Hardware and Tools); Lucca Grill, and the Illini Theatre building. What else do you see that catches your eye?

Red, White, and Kaboom! Independence Day 1941

Nine-year-old Tommy Roberts of Bloomington stocks up on fireworks for the July 4, 1941 festivities.

The Museum wishes you and yours a happy—and safe!—Fourth of July

Independence Day 1964 Miller Park, Bloomington

For well over a century, Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side has served as home to many the city’s Fourth of July activities, including the evening fireworks show.

Who remembers when Miller Park featured a Ferris wheel and other carnival-like rides? Who remembers spending Independence Day at Miller Park with friends and family?

BPD’s Rogues Gallery August 1947

Bloomington Police Chief Clyde Hibbens (left) and Officer James Daley examine some of the 1,600 mug shots in the department’s newly acquired “rogues gallery” investigative aid.

Bzzzz! June 30, 1938

William Knuth, a laid off boilermaker and hobbyist beekeeper, was called to the Darling Poultry and Fish Market, 218 S. Center St., to corral some swarming bees. He located the queen, brushed her into the box, and the others followed.

Irvin Theater, Bloomington Circa 1958

The Irvin was the Twin City’s premier movie house for much of the 20th century. Located on the 200 block of East Jefferson Street, it opened in 1915, closed in 1982, and was torn down in 1987.

I beg to differ … Waterloo v. Bloomers, July 6, 1938

From 1901 to 1939, Bloomington was home to the Bloomers of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. Here’s Len Backer, Waterloo Red Hawks skipper, protesting a call at long-gone Fans Field, the Bloomers home park. That’s Waterloo backstop Clyde Chell on the right. The Red Hawks beat the Bloomers this night 5-1.

Paving, 400 block North Main Street June 1938

Workmen with local contractor Berenz & Son lay asphalt down the 400 block of North Main Street in Bloomington. Today, the Jaeger’s Candy Shop storefront is occupied by Gigi Bottega. The Miller Music storefront is now Bobzbay.

Miller Park Beach July 1941

For decades Miller Park beach was the most popular spots in the Twin Cities to cool off during the summer months. If you can identify any or all of these three swimmers, let us know! Miller Park beach closed for good in 2002.

Who remembers spending time at this beach?

The Iceman Cometh … but for how long? June 1957

Once a common sight in windows throughout the Twin Cities and beyond, ice cards were becoming an increasingly rare sight by 1957. What were they?

Nybakke Vacuum Shop April 1982

Nybakke is currently celebrating its 85th anniversary, making it one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Central Illinois.

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