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Archive of: Towns -- Normal

North Gate Subdivision Northeast Normal, July 1964

During the summer of 1964, ranch and split-level homes were popping up in the North Gate subdivision in northeast Normal, adjacent to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS). North Gate was north of Lincoln, bounded by Beech on the east, and Walnut on the west. This view is looking southwest at Bright Drive, with Beech St.in the foreground. It looks like the photographer was standing at the entrance of the ISSCS administration building. Thanks to Daniel McClure for finding the exact location this picture was taken!

On Parade Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

On Tuesday we posted another photograph featuring this neighborhood music class. These children, who were between the ages of thee and six, were led by music teacher Kay Baylor. Presumably, that’s Ms. Baylor with the accordion. We don’t know where this photograph was taken, but we do know Baylor taught out of her home at 407 S. Linden St., Normal. If you can identify this location, let us know!

ISNU Tour of Europe June 1951

A group from Illinois State Normal University readies for their two-month tour of the British Isles and the European continent. They were led by Dr. Arthur W. Watterson (far right), who was just named acting head of the Department of Geology and Geography. Watterson Towers is the namesake of Dr. Watterson.

“A-One, and a-Two, and a-Three …” Elementary Rhythm Band, July 1951

Tammi Orendorff conducts Kay Baylor’s elementary rhythm band during the summer of 1951. Baylor, who taught piano and music theory from her home, 407 S. Linden St., Normal, organized this “rhythm band” for local children between the ages of three and six. Instruments included castanets, cymbals, bells, rhythm sticks, gongs, and triangles.

Defense Work at Firestone May 1968

a woman is pictured standing in the middle of a gigantic approx 12 foot diameter firestone tire.

Janet Froemming, receptionist at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (now Bridgestone Tires) plant in Normal, gets a close look at a tire produced for the U.S. Army’s latest generation amphibious vehicle known as the LARC (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo). These LARC tires were first shipped to the Army Depot in Polk, CA on May 29, 1968.

Normal grocery readies opening May 1949

Warren Craft (left) and two clerks, Don Bradbury and Catherine Chambers, prepare for the May 25, 1949 grand opening of Craft’s Food Store at 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal.

Eugene Field School Reading Class, October 1949

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?

Normal Fire Department New pumper, May 1968

Fire Inspector Charles Smalley (left) and Fire Chief Victor “Spud” Sylvester, Jr. take a close look at the controls of Normal’s new 1,000-gallon-per-minute pumper truck. It cost $23,000 at the time, which would be more than $162,000 in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.

Robert Underwood, casting ballot April 9, 1945

Seen here is 30-year-old judicial candidate Robert C. Underwood (left) at an unidentified Town of Normal polling station, casting his ballot in the spring 1945 election. Underwood, in his first bid for elective office, would defeat sitting County Judge Dewey Montgomery by a nearly two-to-one margin.

Normal Police Chief Lectures ‘Prisoner’ February 14, 1947

In mid-February 1947, Normal police picked up this adorable troublemaker at Normal Community High School. Charged with disturbing the peace, she had to endure a good talking to by Police Chief Grant Ridenour.

Gamma Phil Circus March 1947

This unidentified Illinois State Normal University student prepares for the eleventh annual Gamma Phil Circus, held March 21, 1947, at McCormick Gymnasium on the ISNU campus.

Illinois State Normal University Quad, 1941

Aerial view of Illinois State Normal University, 1941.

This aerial view, looking north, shows the ISNU Quad in 1941.

First Baby of the New Year January 1, 1965 Edition

Two women holding their newborn babies, 1965.

Shirley Agner and Judy Oesch hold their newborn babies. The Agners were from Livingston County, while the Oesch family lived in Normal. Both births took place at Mennonite Hospital.

Beats shoveling … Normal, Dec. 22, 1953

Two men out plowing the drive, 1953.

Three inches of snow had Don Locke of Bryan’s Standard Service Station out plowing the drive. Today, this site is occupied by Illinois State University’s Professional Development Building.

One-Room School on the Move November 23, 1963

One-room Rose Hill School, 1963.

This shows the one-room Rose Hill School being moved to its new site on the Illinois State Normal University campus. In 1964 it was renamed for Lura Eyestone, an 1892 ISNU graduate who served as a faculty member from 1903 to 1939.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust ISNU vs. IWU, November 21, 1936

ISU vs IWU football, 1936.

Illinois State Normal and Illinois Wesleyan universities were bitter gridiron rivals going all the way back to 1887. Seen here is an unidentified Wesleyan runner getting by ISNU defender Edward Lesnick (#13).

Jesse Fell House March 1947

Jesse Fell House, 1947.

Jesse Fell built this house in 1856-1857, nearly a decade before the establishment of the town itself. It was later moved to 502 S. Fell Ave., and then torn down in mid-August 1980.

Veterans Parkway as the Route 66 ‘Beltline’ December 1960

Aerial view of Veteran's Parkway, 1960.

This aerial, looking due north, shows the Route 66 “Beltline” which is now Veterans Parkway.

Jack Cruser ‘Ugliest’ Costume Winner, 1968

Young by with an ugly costume, 1968.

In 1968, the Normal Parks and Recreation Department and the Optimist and Rotary clubs sponsored a Halloween costume parade at ISU. Jack Cruser won the grand prize after taking first place in the “ugliest costume” category for those in the first grade or younger.

Corn map of McLean County December 1909

Corn map at ​The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute, 1909.

The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute was held in mid-December 1909 at the “Normal University,” as ISU was most often called back then. A highlight of the corn exhibit room was a county map made of corn by nine boys from Price School.

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