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Archive of: 2017

Readying for college Fall of 1949

Bill and Edmunds Rolley enjoy an apparently carefree day in the Twin Cities before heading off to Northwestern University in Evanston, where Bill would be a sophomore and Edmunds a freshman. That’s Connie Carter in between the Rolley boys. Connie was off to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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!

Red Cross knitters July 1940

In the summer of 1940, Marietta Howard, McLean County Red Cross executive secretary, issued an “S.O.S.” for local knitters. The local chapter hoped to soon knit 200 sweaters and other items for its war relief program.

We’re not sure who’s who here, or where this scene takes place. If you can help us out with any identification, we’d sure appreciate it.

Whites-only beach Miller Park, Bloomington, July 1940

From the 1910s into the 1950s, there were racially segregated beaches at Miller Park. The much larger and much nicer beach shown here was set aside for white residents. The black beach was located in the lagoon-like part of the lake beyond the arched stone bridge seen in the distance. African Americans were also denied access to the spacious bathhouse next to the “white” beach.

Roller-Skating messengers State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

Anyone remember when State Farm used staff on roller skates?

Mackinaw River catch, July 1940 Boolman residence, Bloomington

Chester Boolman, 820 W. Washington St., shows his 21-month-old son Melvin a 15-pound catfish he caught below the Kappa Bridge on the Mackinaw River. This photograph was probably taken July 1 or 2, 1940.

Lexington Dog Show July 31, 1940

Seen here are 5 of the 30 some entries for the children’s dog show, held July 31, 1940, in Lexington. They’re at Lexington Park, with the view looking east. That’s 105 E. Main St. behind them. The house is still there.

We’re not entirely sure, but this photo might show the five winners and their owners (left to right): “Nicky” and Dickie Payne; “Brownie” and Arlyss Printz; “Skipper” and Phyllis Ann Framer; “Mack” and Jimmy Travers; and “Bob” and Jane Oliver.

Downtown Bloomington September 1938

This view of downtown Bloomington looks north. The foreground includes a good look at the old city hall, which was located at the northwest corner of East and Monroe streets.

In the distance one can espy the Keiser-Van Leer building (later Clark and Barlow and now East Street Hardware and Tools); Lucca Grill, and the Illini Theatre building. What else do you see that catches your eye?

Red, White, and Kaboom! Independence Day 1941

Nine-year-old Tommy Roberts of Bloomington stocks up on fireworks for the July 4, 1941 festivities.

The Museum wishes you and yours a happy—and safe!—Fourth of July

Independence Day 1964 Miller Park, Bloomington

For well over a century, Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side has served as home to many the city’s Fourth of July activities, including the evening fireworks show.

Who remembers when Miller Park featured a Ferris wheel and other carnival-like rides? Who remembers spending Independence Day at Miller Park with friends and family?

Tot Tries Tiny Tractor August 1947

Three-year-old Janet Schultze gets comfortable on her father Floyd Schultze’s two-cylinder, nine horsepower tractor. This was no child’s toy, however, as this miniature machine was strong enough to pull a 12-inch plow or a 56-inch disc cultivator.

Floyd Schultze ran a tractor repair shop in Chenoa.

Beckley-Moots Wedding Saybrook, September 1938

William C. Beckley and Bernadine Cleo Moots of Cropsey ready for their September 3, 1938 wedding at Saybrook Methodist Church.

The couple would go on to have three sons: Harlan, Bryon, and Lelan. William Beckley passed away in November 1994, and Bernadine followed in October 2003.

BPD’s Rogues Gallery August 1947

Bloomington Police Chief Clyde Hibbens (left) and Officer James Daley examine some of the 1,600 mug shots in the department’s newly acquired “rogues gallery” investigative aid.

Bull in Barbershop Hudson, June 19, 1947

We’ve all heard the expression “bull in a china shop,” but how about one in a barbershop?

John Thomas’ new corn crib June 1958

Construction of a corn crib nears completion at the John C. Thomas farm southeast of Bloomington. This crib, with a 5,000 bushel capacity, featured extra heavy framing, as Thomas looked to the future when it might be converted to the storage of shelled corn.

Bzzzz! June 30, 1938

William Knuth, a laid off boilermaker and hobbyist beekeeper, was called to the Darling Poultry and Fish Market, 218 S. Center St., to corral some swarming bees. He located the queen, brushed her into the box, and the others followed.

Wilder Field, IWU July 1938

Illinois Wesleyan University's Wilder Field was built with Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and materials, the largest of the Depression-era New Deal federal work projects. The football complex is now known as Wilder Field at Tucci Stadium.

ISSCS Festival August 1950

The Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School annual festival of 1950 included pressure cooking demonstrations, as well as displays of preserved fruits and floral arrangements. We don’t know the names of any of these “homers” (as ISSCS kids were called), but we do know that the judges were Dr. Lee W. Miller, a professor of biological sciences at Illinois State Normal University, and three ISNU students.

Irvin Theater, Bloomington Circa 1958

The Irvin was the Twin City’s premier movie house for much of the 20th century. Located on the 200 block of East Jefferson Street, it opened in 1915, closed in 1982, and was torn down in 1987.

Ms. Stanberry and Queenie July 21, 1938

Gretchen Stanberry, a senior in the school of music at MacMurray Women’s College in Jacksonville, was the guest speaker before the Bloomington Rotary Club in a July 1938 program at the Illinois Hotel. Ms. Stanberry is seen here with her German shepherd seeing eye dog Queenie.

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