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A gaggle of Funks, including four sons of local Funk patriarch Isaac (1797-1865), headed West in 1874. Here they are in Yosemite Valley for a family portrait framed by the world famous Yosemite Falls, the highest measured waterfall in North America.
The dress pictured here was designed in the 1920s and was most definitely influenced by an archaeological event.The geometric beaded pattern was influenced by Egyptian design, but what was the event?
Barbara Egger was a part of a women's suffrage group that lobbied in Springfield in 1909.
From 1932 to the mid-1940s, Paul Rhymer's “Vic and Sade" was one of the more popular and critically acclaimed afternoon radio shows in all America. Rhymer (1905-1964) grew up in Bloomington, attended Illinois Wesleyan University, and wrote for The Pantagraph before moving to Chicago and enjoying tremendous success in the radio business.
In late October 1940, hundreds of local residents gathered at the McLean County Courthouse (now the McLean County Museum of History) to check their lottery numbers, which were posted on the walls of the main floor
Trench art has been created in a number of places besides battlefield trenches – army hospitals, POW camps, machine shops, and towns and villages miles away from the action. Read this post to learn about some trench art in our collection, made by military personnel from McLean County
On March 1, 1936, several hundred area residents gathered for the dedication of the Normal Post Office, located at 200 West North Street.
Located on the west side of today's Museum Square, Thompson's, a Chicago-based lunchroom chain, celebrated its golden anniversary in 1941 (see the sign above the employees).
On Saturday, May 21, 1955, some 500 area residents gathered at the Bloomington High School gymnasium on East Washington Street to attend the “Miss Heart of the Corn Belt" beauty pageant competition.
The Museum owns a very unique method used to transport illegal hooch; a prohibition doll.
In this Black History Month edition of our Sound Ideas recurring series "McHistory," you'll hear from a Spanish Amerian War Soldier from Bloomington who writes home from eastern Cuba.
Designed by local architect George H. Miller, this steel-frame “high-rise" with cream-colored glazed brick, was the tallest building in Bloomington upon its completion.
“Ike" Sanders and his first wife Allie Headley opened what's believed to be the first restaurant in Bloomington owned and operated by African Americans. The restaurant, which also doubled as a rooming house, was located at 306 South Main Street.
Maybe I have spring fever. Or, maybe it's my excitement for the upcoming play, “Old Hoss" which will be performed March 7th - 9th here in our Governor Fifer Courtroom. Whatever the reason, I'm ready for some baseball; and, what better time to share one of the Museum's most beloved treasures!
Seen here is a 1944 meeting of the local NAACP gathered at 318 South Main Street, a former sprawling single family residence that would in a few years time become the Twin City Recreation Center.
This undated photograph came to the Museum as part of a larger donation from Sybil Mervis of Danville, Illinois. The Stern Furniture Co. was a downtown Bloomington fixture for much of the twentieth century.
In November 1969, employees of Danville, IL-based Fairhall Elevator Co., while installing a new elevator at American State Bank on the east side of the Courthouse Square, were surprised to uncover remnants of an older elevator.
Julia LeBeau (1903-1994) was the daughter of George and Nettie LeBeau, owners of a Bloomington music shop. In 1906 she decided she wanted a xylophone, but her father didn't want to spend the money — he didn't think she'd stick with it. Instead, he built this tin-can xylophone for her, using fruit, fish, and vegetable cans purchased from a downtown Bloomington grocery.
This photograph of Mrs. Bridget Dooley was taken March 24, 1941, on the occasion of her eightieth birthday. She's seen here at her home, 802 West Mulberry Street in Bloomington.