We are closed today.

Skip to Content
200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428
/ Blog / Archive

Archive of: 2014

Photo of the Week, 60: Funks at Yosemite, June 1874

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.

How much influence can a historic event have on popular clothing design?

This flapper* dress, though not a Paris design, is hand stitched and beaded, and was collected by Marlyn Lawrentz, a Bloomington resident who adored vintage clothing. She donated it to the Museum in 1996. The circular patterning around the neckline was influenced by beaded collars, like the one pictured below, that were removed from Tut’s tomb.

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?

McHistory: Bloomington Suffragist Lobbies in Springfield

Barbara Egger was a part of a women's suffrage group that lobbied in Springfield in 1909.

Photo of the Week, 59: Bloomington’s Paul Rhymer and the Golden Age of Radio

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.

Photo of the Week, 58: War Clouds Loom, October 1940

Seen here is 26-year-old Elmer Wulf, Sr. of Bloomington holding his son Elmer, Jr., as he checks his draft status.

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

Collection Highlight: Trench Art

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

Photo of the Week, 57: Dedication of the Normal Post Office, 1936

​On March 1, 1936, several hundred area residents gathered for the dedication of the Normal Post Office, located at 200 West North Street.

On March 1, 1936, several hundred area residents gathered for the dedication of the Normal Post Office, located at 200 West North Street.

Photo of the Week, Thompson’s Lunchroom on the Museum Square, 1941

Thompson’s Lunchroom on the Museum Square, 1941

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).

Photo of the Week, 56: Here She Is … ‘Miss Heart of the Corn Belt’ 1955

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.

Prohibition doll unique item from 1920s

The Museum owns a very unique method used to transport illegal hooch; a prohibition doll.

McHistory: Experiences in the Spanish American War

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.

Newsletter: Spring 2014

Photo of the Week, 55: McKnight & McKnight Building, August 1929

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.

​Photo of the Week, 54: Ike Sander’s “Short Order House,” ca. 1903-1911

“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.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...!

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!

Photo of the Week, 53: Bloomington-Normal Branch of the NAACP, 1944

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.

Photo of the Week, 52: Feeding Time at Miller Park Zoo … Brought To You By Stern’s Furniture!

Photo of the Week, 52: Feeding Time at Miller Park Zoo … Brought To You By Stern’s Furniture!

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.

Photo of the Week, 51: Unexpected Archaeology, Downtown Bloomington, 1969

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.

What the heck is Julia LeBeau playing?

Miss LeBeau’s tin can xylophone was donated to the Museum in 1994 by her good friend Charles Ridenour who believedit needed an appropriate home.We agreed!

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.

Photo of the Week, 50: The Dooleys in America

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.

Page 4 of 5

Filter archive

Archive by Date