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Archive of: 2014

Rudolph the Red-Nosed … Llama? McLean County Christmas, 1958

Santa and a llama, 1958.

In the week before Christmas 1958, Santa Claus paid a visit to Bloomington’s Forest Park to inspect the local reindeer stock. But Old St. Nick found his attention monopolized by a nosy llama.

Photo of the Week, 96: The Most Popular Guy in the Room

Town of Normal's thirteenth annual community Christmas program at the Normal Theater.

More than 600 grade school children attended the Town of Normal's thirteenth annual community Christmas program at the Normal Theater in 1944.

Volunteer Reflection: Drew Brandau

My first day here I was given the task of making a finding aid for a nearly 100-year-old collection of World War I material, mainly books and military manuals. A finding aid is a typed inventory of the contents of an archival collection, and as such helps researchers and those interested in the collection find their way around the material.

Intern Reflections: Back Room Objects

That had to be my favorite day, as it morphed from handling the objects in the room to having several employees in the museum show me the various archives and vaults that I had yet to see. I clearly didn't understand the scope of the museum collections nor what their accreditation meant for a museum in a city of this size.

Photo of the Week, 95: Roland's Christmas Party, 1958

Roland's Christmas Party, 1958

Shotgun-toting and suspicious Mrs. Claus follows her husband around Bloomington as he is in the company of three attractive reindeer.

Photo of the Week, 94: Bloomington Fire Department Gives Santa a Lift - Christmas Eve, 1940

Bloomington Fire Department Gives Santa a Lift - Christmas Eve, 1940

Bloomington firemen help Santa deliver sixteen "goody" baskets to disadvantaged local families in 1940.

Newsletter: Winter 2014/15

Read our latest newsletter.

A Unique Look At A Hollywood Starlet

Among the many treasures held by the McLean County Museum of History is this portrait of Irene Delroy (pictured above) painted by George Maillard Kesslere in 1929. It hung in the Ithaca, NY, home of her second husband Gerard Oberrender until his death in 1998.

Josephine Sanders was born in Bloomington, IL, on July 21, 1900. She was better known by her stage and screen name, Irene Delroy.

Photo of the Week, 94: Thanksgiving at ISSCS, 1962

Photo of the Week, 92: Thanksgiving at ISSCS, 1962

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two orphans from the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School with 39 Thanksgiving turkeys, being readied for Thanksgiving Day in 1962.

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, 91: High-Wire Act on the Square, 1939

Photo of the Week, 91: High-Wire Act on the Square, 1939

In 1939, Bloomington-based Billetti troupe performed a perilous three high pyramid on bicycles without safety nets.

Photo of the Week, 90: Jack-o'-lantern Harvest in the Eisenhower Era

Happy Halloween from the board, staff, volunteers and members of the McLean County Museum of History!

Photo of the Week, 89: Livingston Flats—Gone but not Forgotten

Livingston Flats, Bloomington Illinois

Located at the northeast corner of East and Jefferson streets in downtown Bloomington, the Livingston Flats served as a mixed-use development (residential and commercial) for the better part of 45 years.

Photo of the Week, 88: The Old Switcheroo, November 1935

Seen here is the terminal room of the Wabash Telephone Company in downtown Bloomington. Outside lines terminated here and connections were made with the local switchboard.

Seen here is the terminal room of the Wabash Telephone Company in downtown Bloomington. Outside lines terminated here and connections were made with the local switchboard.

Photo of the Week, 87: World Series Memories

Bob O'Farrell and Grover Cleveland Alexander Fans Field, Bloomington, 1938

On April 17, 1938, pitching great Grover Cleveland Alexander brought the Empires, his semi-pro baseball team from Springfield, IL, to Fans Field on Bloomington's south side.

Photo of the Week, 86: Thirty Year Anniversary of ISU Beer Riot 'Brouhaha'

On October 3, 1984, Illinois State University students protested new Town of Normal liquor ordinances designed to control large off-campus keg parties. Students called the measures draconian, and some took out their frustrations on public and private property in Uptown Normal. Rioters, according to an AP report,

On October 3, 1984, Illinois State University students protested new Town of Normal liquor ordinances designed to control large off-campus keg parties.

Photo of the Week, 85: Tarzan Gets Heartfelt Farewell, April 1941

On April 5, 1941,

On April 5, 1941, "Tarzan," a beloved crow well known to children in the Illinois Wesleyan University neighborhood, was laid to rest in the backyard of the Elwood O. Allison home.

Photo of the Week, 84: 'Bloody 66' claims 4 victims in early February 1939

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. Route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M.

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. Route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M.

Archives Photo Project is Progressive Step Forward for Collection Accessibility

The Archives' photo collection is in the process of becoming more accessible than ever. The Archives Photo Scanning Project, conducted over the last year, will allow people within the Museum to have digital access to most of the photos in the Archives.

McNulta Time Capsule

This wine decanter originally arrived at the McLean County Museum of History as a time capsule.

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