We are closed today.
Seen here is a 1935 photograph of the Nierstheimer Bros. grocery store at 428 North Main Street in downtown Bloomington. Today, Crossroads, the popular fair trade handcrafts shop, occupies the main floor of this building.
In September 1933, during the dark days of the Great Depression, Bloomington hosted a parade and a series of programs trumpeting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration (NRA), a cornerstone of his First New Deal.
During the Second World War, communities such as Bloomington scrounged for scrap metal to boost the war effort.
Tracy Green & Co., circa 1928, located at the southwest corner of Washington and Gridley streets east of downtown Bloomington.
This rare shot of the train depot in Cropsey likely dates to the 1880s.
Seen here is the Junior American League baseball team sponsored by J. Stern Furniture Co,. sometime in the late 1940s.
Graduation season is upon us! Seen here are 1938 graduates of Horatio G. Bent School on Bloomington's northwest side.
“Tornado Leaves Trail of Debris Strung Across Central Illinois" read the page 5 headline in the June 11, 1939 Pantagraph. Seen here is damage from that storm in downtown Arrowsmith, the small McLean County community east of Bloomington. A tornado and / or accompanying high winds tore off the corner of the Masonic building and left the Hess grocery store exposed to the elements.
Incorporated in 1919, Maplewood Country Club stretched southeast of Linden St. and Jersey Ave. in Normal.
This scene shows an unidentified area farmer still making use of an old horse-drawn, two-row planter.
The farce “A Full House" was staged at Memorial Gymnasium, today's Hansen Center, for Wesleyan's homecoming.
Sap from the sugar maple begins to run during the warmer days and cold nights of February and March. Early settlers—and before that Native Americans—boiled the sap from sugar maples in groves throughout McLean County.
This “gag shot," circa 1904, shows two African-American men “floating" over downtown Bloomington. We're almost certain that's Ike Sanders (1878-1929) on the left.
Built by Elmo and Arline Winterland in 1960, the Oasis Drive-In was a local Route 66 landmark. Does anyone remember the drive-in's “Luigi Burger," a hamburger with a special sauce?
These two photographs appeared in the March 27, 1937 Pantagraph. The original caption read, in part: “Three acres of cottonwood and hackberry stumps were blasted out last week on the Henry W. Capen farm southeast of town [Bloomington], operated by Fred Blum."
This undated photograph shows Paul F. Beich Candy Co. employees packing Whiz Bars, a marshmallow, chocolate and peanut concoction that was the local confectioner's best seller. Beich established a Bloomington-based candy company under his name in 1892.
Little is known about this photograph from the Museum archives except the date—March 7, 1931. A check of local newspaper microfilm at Bloomington Public Library tells us that in fact there was a major snowstorm at this time. “Winter's Worst Storm Grips State—Relief Today, Is Prediction" was the March 8, 1931 front page headline in The Pantagraph.
This photo of C.U. Williams and Son Co., 207 E. Washington St., Bloomington, dates to 1914. It was part of a Williams advertisement appearing in a souvenir program for a December 7-8, 1914 minstrel show staged by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Bloomington Lodge 281, at the Chatterton Opera House on E. Market St.
Museum Librarian Bill Kemp stumbled across this photograph while perusing a collection of recently donated photographs. Bill knew that the smartly dressed figure in the middle was Don Munson, the now-retired on-air WJBC AM 1230 morning radio personality. Without knowing the context of this curious find, Bill decided to email Don Munson, who still lives in Bloomington-Normal and hosts a delightful Thursday evening jazz program on WGLT FM 89.1, Illinois State University's Public Radio affiliate.
This is the inaugural “Photo of the Week" from the Archive collections of the Museum.