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#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Fifth annual Corn Belt Coin Show July 14-15, 1962

The two-day Corn Belt Coin Show in July 1962 was held at the Illinois Hotel (now Illinois House) in downtown Bloomington. Some 1,500 persons were expected to attend the show. Folks here are looking at a $100,000 silver dollar display. If you recognize anyone in this photo, please let us know.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

An Old Master returns home ‘Doc’ Bradshaw, July 19, 1962

Kenneth “Doc” Bradshaw, one of the more accomplished pianists to come out of the Twin Cities, returned home in July 1962 after a seventeen-year absence. He performed before a capacity crowd at Miller Park. Doc is seen here warming up in the bandstand with Dorothy Ann Burkhart, a former student of his. Who out there recalls Doc Bradshaw?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Glen Dotson and ‘Sparky’ Towanda, January 1941

Glen Dotson is seen here in late January 1941 with his new pet pigeon “Sparky.” Glen’s previous pigeon had been killed by an automobile. After reading about Glen’s loss, Lewis Hodge of Bloomington gave the Towanda boy a new pigeon, Sparky, who was said to be well-trained and fond of music.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

New American citizen May 24, 1941

Twenty-six people became American citizens in a naturalization ceremony held May 24, 1941, in the McLean County Courthouse. Overseeing the proceedings was Circuit Judge W.C. Radliff. Seen here is an unidentified woman completing her naturalization paperwork.

Some of the women who became U.S. citizens on this day included Catherina Fillipponi, Marguerite Grundler, and Frieda Wilde. If you can identify the woman shown here, please let us know!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Parking meters perplex motorists Downtown Bloomington, May 1941

Parking meters were first installed in downtown Bloomington in February 1940. By the following spring these contraptions were still confusing local residents, as illustrated in this May 1941 Pantagraph photograph. The befuddled gentleman is local resident L.C. Hill.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Woops! Roller-skating messenger State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

More than a week ago we posted a photograph from this set. Here’s another one. At the time, State Farm was testing the feasibility of having staff at its downtown Bloomington building deliver mail on roller skates. Seen here is Fayne Hoobler taking a rare tumble. Sitting at the desk is Margaret Warrick.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

City Hoosegow September 1938

Old Bloomington City Hall, located at the corner of East and Monroe streets downtown, included eight narrow holding cells. These were located in the basement.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Whites-only beach Miller Park, Bloomington, July 1940

From the 1910s into the 1950s, there were racially segregated beaches at Miller Park. The much larger and much nicer beach shown here was set aside for white residents. The black beach was located in the lagoon-like part of the lake beyond the arched stone bridge seen in the distance. African Americans were also denied access to the spacious bathhouse next to the “white” beach.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Roller-Skating messengers State Farm Insurance, summer 1940

Anyone remember when State Farm used staff on roller skates?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Downtown Bloomington September 1938

This view of downtown Bloomington looks north. The foreground includes a good look at the old city hall, which was located at the northwest corner of East and Monroe streets.

In the distance one can espy the Keiser-Van Leer building (later Clark and Barlow and now East Street Hardware and Tools); Lucca Grill, and the Illini Theatre building. What else do you see that catches your eye?

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