200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Archive of: Historic Photos

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Hot Times on in Downtown Bloomington June 19, 1949

This early summer scene shows a crowd gathered outside the Western Union office on the 200 block of West Washington Street. The business had been evacuated due to a fire call (note the BFD engine parked in the middle of the street).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

‘Craig’s Wife,’ February 1947 Community Players, Bloomington

On February 6 and 7, 1947, Community Players Theatre staged the domestic drama “Craig’s Wife.” The theater company’s current home on Robinhood Lane did not open until 1962, so at this time plays were held at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts).

We don’t know who’s who here. If you can identify anyone, please let us know.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Titans Thump Redbirds February 1953

On February 11, 1953, Illinois Wesleyan beat visiting Illinois State Normal 98-66 at the old Memorial Hall gymnasium (now IWU’s Hansen Student Center).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High Swim Team February 1953

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

Five BHS swimmers prepare for the Big 12 Conference meet in Peoria in this mid-February 1953 scene. Left to right: Peter Whitmer, Hal Johnstone, Ray Baxter, Chuck Dunbar, and Adlai Rust, Jr.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Carrie Behrend Retires February 1, 1958

After 33 years with C.W. Klemm’s, a locally owned department store in downtown Bloomington, Carrie Behrend retired on Saturday, February 1, 1958. She had spent the past 14 years in the pattern department. Located on the north side of the Courthouse Square, Klemm’s closed in November 1981.

Miss Behrend passed away on August 8, 1964.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Spring Training Illinois Wesleyan, early March 1942

Spring training for Major League Baseball clubs began this week. In this early March 1942 scene on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus (that’s still-standing Memorial Hall) senior catcher Hugh Dickie (with bat) plays a little “pepper” with teammates (left to right) Berthyl Brigham, Walter Wadington, Jim Fletcher, and Ralph Zeitz.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

March of Dimes Coffee Day January 1953

On Friday, Jan. 30, 1953, local restaurants donated proceeds from their coffee sales to the March of Dimes and the campaign to combat infantile paralysis, commonly known as polio. Here is waitress Pauline McGath pouring coffee for truck drivers (left to right) Mack Rutledge, Gene Dreelan, and “Slick” Evans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Last-minute Valentine’s Shopping Livingston’s, February 1953

Leon Jaeger, an underwriting superintendent for State Farm Insurance, examines a frilly item for his wife Ruth several days before Valentine’s Day 1953. That’s longtime Livingston’s department store clerk Litta Ballow lending a helping hand.

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Written by Torii Moré in Historic Photos

John Pratt, February 1953 Valentine’s Day Groom

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Shirley by Horseback March 5, 1942

area resident visiting downtown Shirley on horseback

An area resident visited downtown Shirley on horseback, presumably as a way to limit the wear and tear on his auto or tractor tires!

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