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

#Businesses

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 77: That's a Hair-raising Experience!

University School of Beauty Culture, located at 417 North Main Street in downtown Bloomington.

The University School of Beauty Culture had opened a year or two earlier before this photo feature, and would remain in business at the same location into the early 1980s. Today, the main tenant at 417 North Main Street is Schertz's MusiCenteR.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 67: Welcome to Normal, 1969

Welcome to Normal, Illinois.  Hall's Tog Shop, Normal State Bank, Realtor Hal Riss

Remember Hall's Tog Shop? Did anyone you know have an account at Normal State Bank, or buy a house from realtor Hal Riss?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 65: Adolph ‘Sez’ Slow Down!

McLean County Museum of History Adolf's

On August 18, 1963, 19-year-old David C. Roberts of rural McLean County accidentally plowed his car into—and through—Adolph's Discount Store, located in the “Brandtville" corner of Illinois 150 and the U.S. 66 “Beltway" (now Veterans Parkway).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 59: Bloomington’s Paul Rhymer and the Golden Age of Radio

From 1932 to the mid-1940s, Paul Rhymer's “Vic and Sade" was one of the more popular and critically acclaimed afternoon radio shows in all America. Rhymer (1905-1964) grew up in Bloomington, attended Illinois Wesleyan University, and wrote for The Pantagraph before moving to Chicago and enjoying tremendous success in the radio business.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Photo of the Week, Thompson’s Lunchroom on the Museum Square, 1941

Thompson’s Lunchroom on the Museum Square, 1941

Located on the west side of today's Museum Square, Thompson's, a Chicago-based lunchroom chain, celebrated its golden anniversary in 1941 (see the sign above the employees).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 55: McKnight & McKnight Building, August 1929

Designed by local architect George H. Miller, this steel-frame “high-rise" with cream-colored glazed brick, was the tallest building in Bloomington upon its completion.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

​Photo of the Week, 54: Ike Sander’s “Short Order House,” ca. 1903-1911

“Ike" Sanders and his first wife Allie Headley opened what's believed to be the first restaurant in Bloomington owned and operated by African Americans. The restaurant, which also doubled as a rooming house, was located at 306 South Main Street.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 52: Feeding Time at Miller Park Zoo … Brought To You By Stern’s Furniture!

Photo of the Week, 52: Feeding Time at Miller Park Zoo … Brought To You By Stern’s Furniture!

This undated photograph came to the Museum as part of a larger donation from Sybil Mervis of Danville, Illinois. The Stern Furniture Co. was a downtown Bloomington fixture for much of the twentieth century.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 51: Unexpected Archaeology, Downtown Bloomington, 1969

In November 1969, employees of Danville, IL-based Fairhall Elevator Co., while installing a new elevator at American State Bank on the east side of the Courthouse Square, were surprised to uncover remnants of an older elevator.

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Written by Tod Eagleton in Collection Highlights

Normal Sanitary Dairy baseball uniform donated to Museum

Uniform worn by a member of the Normal Sanitary Dairy's baseball team in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The Museum recently received a Normal Sanitary Dairy baseball uniform worn during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Located at 301 Broadway in Normal, the Normal Sanitary Dairy sold milk and other dairy products to McLean County residents from 1930 to 1959.

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