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

#1930s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 115: Threatened Downtown Beauty

Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington

Seen here is the Peoples Bank building (now Commerce Bank), corner of Center and Washington streets in downtown Bloomington, sometime in 1935. The fate of this lovely seven-story commercial building at the southwest corner of the Museum Square is in the hands of city officials.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 114: Downtown Bloomington, 1931

Seen here is the 100 block of N. Madison St. in 1931

Seen here is the 100 block of N. Madison St. in 1931.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 105: Circus Travel by 'House Car'

Circus Travel by

In April 1936, Gene Enos posed before his new aluminum "house car" trailer.

Read more…

Written by Torii Moré in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 104: Wintertime Construction - State Farm Insurance Addition, January 1939

Wintertime Construction - State Farm Insurance Addition, January 1939

This image, taken January 25, 1939, shows two workers some 7 stories above tightening bolts in the dead of winter.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 103: Broadview Mansion Bell Tower, November 1939

Broadview Mansion Bell Tower, November 1939

For nearly 75 years the Broadview Mansion bell tower has served as a local landmark.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 99: Calling All Cars! Normal Police Department, 1938

Calling All Cars! Normal Police Department, 1938

Normal Police Chief James Clarence Land in 1938 with the department's new radio hookup, enabling him to communicate with officers in squad cars.

Read more…

Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

A Unique Look At A Hollywood Starlet

Among the many treasures held by the McLean County Museum of History is this portrait of Irene Delroy (pictured above) painted by George Maillard Kesslere in 1929. It hung in the Ithaca, NY, home of her second husband Gerard Oberrender until his death in 1998.

Josephine Sanders was born in Bloomington, IL, on July 21, 1900. She was better known by her stage and screen name, Irene Delroy.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 92: Thanksgiving in the Great Depression, 1938

Photo of the Week, 92: Thanksgiving in the Great Depression, 1938

On the day before Thanksgiving in 1938, the Young Men's Commercial Club of Bloomington prepared gift baskets for local needy families.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 91: High-Wire Act on the Square, 1939

Photo of the Week, 91: High-Wire Act on the Square, 1939

In 1939, Bloomington-based Billetti troupe performed a perilous three high pyramid on bicycles without safety nets.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 88: The Old Switcheroo, November 1935

Seen here is the terminal room of the Wabash Telephone Company in downtown Bloomington. Outside lines terminated here and connections were made with the local switchboard.

Seen here is the terminal room of the Wabash Telephone Company in downtown Bloomington. Outside lines terminated here and connections were made with the local switchboard.

Read more…