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#1950s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Spooktacular 1957 Jefferson School, Bloomington

Jefferson School Halloween, 1957.

The Jefferson School PTA held an all-family Halloween party on October 28, 1957. Seen here are prize winners for the prettiest, most original, and ugliest costumes. The ballerina (prettiest) is Susan Anderson, the robot (most original) Allan Swartz, and the farmer (ugliest) Carolyn Hirsch.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

High School ‘Museum’ Bellflower, September 1950

Bellflower High School Museum, 1950.

Bellflower Township High School in the southeastern corner of McLean County once boasted a fine collection of local history and natural history objects. This “museum” consisted of a set of display cases and wall exhibits featuring hundreds of items, including Native American relics, an American bison skull, pioneer-era homespun cloth, and even firearms.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Wesleyan Homecoming, October 1958 Titans Rough Up the Bluejays

Illinois Wesleyan University, 1958.

Fifty-seven years ago, Saturday, October 25, 1958, Wesleyan easily dispatched visiting Elmhurst College 47-7 in the homecoming football game. Seen here are two photographs from the 1958 homecoming parade in downtown Bloomington, held the morning of the Elmhurst game.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

An apple (or bushel) a day … Lilly Orchard, October 1950

Lily Orchard, 1950.

In the first half of the 20th century Lilly Orchard, located some sixteen miles west of the Twin Cities, was one of the more popular area destinations during the crisp fall days of September and October. Seen in this early October 1950 photograph are Orin White, Lilly Orchard manager, and two young customers enjoying the locally grown product.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McLean Harvest Festival September 26, 1952

McLean Harvest festival, 1952.

The Village of McLean in the southwestern corner of McLean County used to stage an annual Harvest Festival. Seen here is the McLean Supper Club float.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Centennial ‘Young Pioneers’ Parade, September 19, 1950

Bloomington Centennial, 1950.

The City of Bloomington celebrated its centennial over a seven-day extravaganza, September 17-23, 1950 (though the kickoff dance held September 15 somehow didn’t count, if one goes by the banner pictured here). Anyway, festivities included a “Young Pioneers” parade through downtown Bloomington on September 19.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Centennial 65 Years Ago this Week!

Bloomington Centennial, 1950.

On September 15, 1950, Bloomington kicked off its centennial celebration with a “Queen’s Ball” at what is now called the Center for Performing Arts. Although Bloomington was established and settled as early as 1831, it wasn’t officially incorporated until 1850, hence the city’s 100th birthday bash was held in 1950 and not 1931.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Old Main Comes Down September 9, 1958

Old Main building, 1958.

On September 9, 1958, a one-ton wrecking ball made quick work of Illinois State University’s first campus building, affectionately known as “Old Main.” Today, a memorial featuring the building’s bell can be found on the north end of the Illinois State Quad.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

All the World’s a Stage Community Players, December 1953

Community players, 1953.

Community Players Theatre has been a local cultural treasure since its first staged production way back in 1923. Thirty-three years later, on December 3-4, 1956, the volunteer theater company staged the bewitching romantic comedy “Bell, Book and Candle.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McLean County Fairgrounds, 1956

Aerial view of McLean county fairgrounds, 1956.

Back in 1955, the McLean County Farm Bureau purchased Emile Philip Schandein’s 78-acre farm for $60,000. Located at the southwest corner of Illinois Route 9 and Hershey Road and just east of what would become Veterans Parkway, this old farm then served as the home of the McLean County Fair for more than 40 years.

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