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The Bloomington High School marching band passes through the gates of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery on Bloomington’s south side for a Memorial Day program. “Our nation, our young men of necessity, play a role in the tragic drama now a part of current world events on this Memorial Day,” Edward B. Akin of the Illinois Veterans’ Commission told those gathered for a ceremony at the cemetery.
The McLean County Legion Drum Corps, debuting their new uniforms, march south down Main Street on Saturday, May 30, 1936, during Bloomington’s annual Memorial Day parade.
On May 22, 1968, workers removed a roof off a gas station being dismantled at the corner of Lee and Washington streets on the west end of downtown Bloomington. The roof was being moved to Locust Street where it would be placed atop another gas station.
Janet Froemming, receptionist at the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (now Bridgestone Tires) plant in Normal, gets a close look at a tire produced for the U.S. Army’s latest generation amphibious vehicle known as the LARC (Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo). These LARC tires were first shipped to the Army Depot in Polk, CA on May 29, 1968.
Retired schoolteacher Elsa Schilling found a quiet corner of Withers Public Library hoping to find a few keepers during the 10-cent book sale, held May 25, 1968. With the opening of the present-day Bloomington Public Library on East Olive Street, this old library was torn down in 1978. Who has special memories of Withers?
These buildings, located on the west side of the 200 South Main Street, were demolished in the early 1970s to make way for the McLean County Law and Justice Center complex. Who remembers stopping at this National Liquors storefront or having a bite to eat at Baker’s Hamburger Stand?
The local Veterans of Foreign Wars John H. Kraus post prepares for its 17th annual poppy sale in this late May 1938 photograph. Left to right: Fred E. Crone, post commander; Marie Cooper, Anderson-Fike auxiliary president; Emmet Koos and Catherine Lawrence, poppy committee members; Ruth McReynolds, auxiliary poppy committee chair; and Grant Cooper, post poppy committee chair.
These patient 4-H members are waiting for something to wrap up before they can enjoy their meal. Note the needlework in front of them and the quilts behind. This mystery photograph comes from the Museum’s extensive collection of McLean County Home Bureau photographs. The Home Bureau is now known as the McLean County Association for Home and Community Education.
We don’t know the who, what, where, or why of this photograph. If you can help us with identifications, we’d sure appreciate it!
This circa 1967 aerial looks northwest. That’s under-construction St. Joseph’s Hospital in the center, with the Route 66 “beltline” (now Veterans Parkway) in the foreground. To the right (or north) is Eastland Mall, which formally opened in February 1967. This east side St. Joe’s, which would open in March 1968, replaced the old west side hospital off Morris Ave.
Who remembers when the east side of Bloomington liked like this?
Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.
If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.
On June 20, 1938, about 40 members of Bloomington’s 2nd Battalion, 108th Quartermaster Regiment, headed to Chicago for the annual Illinois National Guard military show at Soldier Field. They’re seen here boarding a truck near the old armory (which was lost in a building collapse in 2011) in the warehouse district.
This lovely Depression-era view of a bustling downtown Bloomington shows the east side of the 300 block of North Main Street, one block north of the Courthouse Square.
What catches your eye?
Margarette Scott’s beauty school was located on the 400 block of North Main Street in downtown Bloomington. “We get personality training too, because we’ve got to please our customers,” one of the students said at the time of this photograph. “Most of the girls are 18 to 25 years old and high school graduates … Nearly half the girls come from farm homes.”
William Meyers and his wife Beverly (seen here) spent eight weeks traveling by U.S. Army surplus jeep from the Panama Canal Zone to Central Illinois—some 7,040 miles in all. Beverley’s parents lived in El Paso, Ill. During the epic journey the young couple had but one flat tire.
Several ISNU coeds show off their gowns for the June 10, 1949 junior-senior prom. Louise Claymore (left) is in a blue chiffon; Barbara Schonert (center) in blue satin; and Marilyn McCarthy in beige lace with a stole.
Warren Craft (left) and two clerks, Don Bradbury and Catherine Chambers, prepare for the May 25, 1949 grand opening of Craft’s Food Store at 108 E. Beaufort St. in Uptown Normal.
Danvers High School seniors are seen here pouring though The Daily Pantagraph’s 56-page graduation edition of May 18, 1949. The Pantagraph distributed complimentary copies to some 2,370 senior from 77 Central Illinois high schools.
These seniors delayed their “skip day” to Starved Rock State Park to get a look at the class photographs.
Eugene Field teacher Kathryn Carnahan leads a crowded classroom of 40 first graders in this October 1949 scene. Opened in 1936, Eugene Field in Normal closed as an elementary school in 2005, and today the 81-year-old building serves as the Vocational Training Center for McLean County Unit District No. 5.
Who’s a Eugene Field alum or had children that attended this neighborhood school?
Bloomington High School students Wanda Rust (right) and Margaret Schlemmer work on murals in the newly opened student lounge, a repurposed second floor classroom. At this time the high school was located on the 500 block of East Washington Street. The current high school opened in 1959.
Artist Bob Hooton (left) and writer Dan Wickenden, both fresh from an extended stay in the Central American nation of Guatemala, arrived in Bloomington in mid-May 1948. Hooton, the son of Bloomington architect Phillip Hooton, intended to stay in the Twin Cities for the summer. Wickenden planned to return to his home in Connecticut. Two years later, the dust jacket cover of Wickenden’s novel “The Dry Season” would feature a Hooton painting.