Washington, IL, native, Larry Carius worked for the McLean County Health Department (MCHD) for over forty years from 1968-2008. As food program and plan review supervisor, he and his staff inspected food serving establishments to help prevent food borne illnesses.

In his personal life, Carius and his wife Kay are restaurant aficionados, both locally and in the 49 states they have visited. After retiring, he with Kay’s help created what has become a very successful Facebook blog with almost 28,000 followers --- Bloomington Normal Restaurant Scene. He posts news, information and photos on local restaurants, taverns, and grocery stores several times a week. He writes a monthly column on local restaurants for the Pantagraph. Also, until the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, he was a weekly guest on WJBC radio

In addition, Carius has long been a participant and enthusiast of local major fast-pitch softball and has written about local fastpitch softball history.


In 1946, voters approved a referendum to fund a McLean County Health Department (MCHD). The goal of MCHD was to assure conditions conducive to good health and provide leadership in promoting and protecting the health of county residents. Over it’s lifetime, MCHD has been located at several different sites in Bloomington-Normal.

Carius worked in what became known as the Environmental Health Division of MCHD. Early in his career, sanitarians in that group performed many duties they do not do today such as swimming water sampling, venereal disease investigations (as they were called then) and soft serve ice cream samples, in addition to current responsibilities such as private sewage disposal system and restaurant inspections.

Boxes 1 & 2: MCHD History, correspondence, monthly reports, personnel guidelines and salary schedules, annual lists of food service establishments and plans received, guidelines and newsletters for food service operators, a few food service permits, newspaper articles about food service sanitation, lists of private septic systems, plus published sanitation regulations and guides from local, state, federal and private sources,

Boxes 3 & 4 Restaurant menus for over 200 McLean County restaurants. The restaurant menus have been digitized and can be viewed online.