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

#1950s

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Society Horse Show Fans Field, Bloomington, 1953

Bloomington Horse Show, 1953.

Seen here is “High Tide,” first-place winner of the June 20-21, 1953 horse show in the hackney singles stake. Owned by S.S. Ferguson of Heyworth, “High Tide’ was driven by Orris Gray (holding the reins). Presenting the trophy (center) is Philip Schandein. Joe Wiltermood is on the left.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Future Flying Farmers? Bloomington Municipal Airport, 1953

Farm children on an airplane, 1953.

The McLean County chapter of Flying Farmers offered free airplane rides to some 70 moms and dads on Father’s Day, June 21, 1953.
Seen here at Bloomington Municipal Airport are Ivel Wade (left) and Art Hill (right) holding ten-month-olds.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Dennis Minder with Measles, May 8, 1958

Dennis Mindler with Measles, 1958.

A lot of visitors were coming to see Don and Bernadine Minder in early May 1958 because they just had a baby. The problem was their six-year-old son Dennis had come down with the measles! Caroline Minder placed this sign at the front door.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

North Side of Courthouse Square Downtown Bloomington, circa 1956

North side of the Courthouse Square, 1956.

Here’s a wonderful view of the 100 block of West Jefferson Street, or the north side of the Courthouse Square. Pictured here are Roland’s and Klemm’s, two longtime local retailers.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington High School Under Construction, August 1958

Aerial view of Bloomington High School, 1958.

This aerial shows the “new” Bloomington High School, corner of Towanda Avenue and Locust Street on the city’s eastside, roughly one year before opening. A local firm headed by Edgar E. Lundeen and Dean F. Hilfinger served as architects for this underappreciated modernist beauty.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

McDonald’s Open for Business 806 S. Main St., Normal February 1959

First McDonald's in Normal, 1959.

An intrepid Museum staffer tracked this wonderful image down, taken in mid-February 1959 - this being the first McDonald’s in the Twin Cities. Soon after, the drive-in opened.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Carolyn Cameron ‘Miss Bloomington’ 1950

Miss Bloomington, 1950.

In July 1950, 19-year-old Carolyn Cameron of Pekin was crowned Jaycees’ “Miss Bloomington” 1950. Cameron, an Illinois Wesleyan University student, bested 26 other young woman for the honor.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Smell that Smoke! Cecil Cone’s Barbecue, May 1953

Barbecue, 1953.

In early May 1953, former Bloomington Mayor Cecil Cone brought past and present city officials together for a barbecue at his home, 703 E. Market St. Seen here (left to right) are Mary and Cecil Cone, Clarine Mather, and city councilman Monroe Dodge.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

East Grove Street, Bloomington July 1956

East Grove Street, 1956.

By the mid-1950s, Dutch elm disease had ravaged many of the city’s tree-lined streets. The disease had yet to reach this stretch of East Grove, though. Phillip Hogan (on bike) chats with Marty Weigman is this summer of 1956 scene along East Grove Street, looking east.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

East Washington Street 200 Block, Circa 1956

Downtown Bloomington, 1956.

Seen here is the north side of the 200 block of East Washington Street about 1956. Partially visible on the left edge of this photograph is old Withers Library, the forerunner to Bloomington Public Library. The handsome building to the east of Withers is the Arthur L. Pillsbury designed Bloomington Club. In the 1950s, the apartment-like building east of the Bloomington Club served as professional offices.

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