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

#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week: Coachman Motel September 1962

Coachmen Motel, 1962.

The Coachman Motel opened on January 30, 1961, at 406 E. Washington St., on the eastern edge of downtown Bloomington. The 42-room motel was built for $500,000 (or nearly $4 million today, adjusted for inflation) by Robert Dunn, a Bloomington attorney.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Smoke ’em if you got ’em Bloomington Police Department, February 1963

Bloomington policemen enjoying cigars, 1963.

An anonymous donor treated Bloomington’s finest to a box of cigars as a way to mark the pending closure of old city hall, located at northwest corner of East and Monroe streets, and the opening of the new (and current) one on East Olive Street.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Fire Department Demonstration, December 15, 1939

BFD public demonstration of new engines and equipment, 1939.

No need to panic! The State Farm Insurance Co. downtown building was not ablaze in mid-December 1939. This was a BFD public demonstration of new engines and equipment, including an 85-foot Seagrave aerial ladder truck. The photo on the right shows a similar photo angle, circa 2014.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Ozark Air Lines Touches Down Bloomington Municipal Airport, Nov. 6, 1950

Municipal Airport celebrates the start of scheduled commercial air service to Bloomington, 1950.

An estimated 200 area residents were on hand at the Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport) to celebrate the start of scheduled commercial air service to Bloomington. Seen here are Bloomington Postmaster Carter Pietsch (right) and Otto Gerth handing sacks of mail to stewardess Mary Forgach.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Spirit of ’76 Withers Park, 1938

Kids in a parade, 1938.

These unidentified youngsters were part of a massive “Pioneer Day” parade in Bloomington on June 22, 1938. Although not a Fourth of July scene, strictly speaking, we think this photograph speaks to the traditions of Independence Day.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Schultz Meat Market 109 S. Center St., Bloomington

Meat market, undated.

Dewey and Beulah Schultz ran this downtown meat market from 1945 into the 1950s.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Jim Ameche and WJBC December 1949

Jim Ameche helped WJBC Radio inaugurate new building, 1949.

National radio personality Jim Ameche (center) helped WJBC Radio inaugurate its new transmitter building, new pylon antenna, and other capital upgrades by serving as master of ceremonies for a three-hour variety show, aired December 7, 1949.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Coliseum June 1938

Coliseum in Bloomington, 1938.

Opened in December 1898, the Coliseum was a field house-type structure with phenomenal acoustics. It hosted everything from famed sopranos to Jazz Age dance bands. Interestingly, the old Coliseum stood directly across Front Street from the “new” (now 10-years old) U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Idle Youth Miller Park, July 1957

Boys sitting around, 1957.

These unidentified boys are seen here a few days before Independence Day 1957, hanging out at Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Black Baseball in Bloomington August 1944

12- to 16-year-olds play baseball, 1944.

These 12- to 16-year-olds played American Legion ball sponsored by the local Louis E. Davis Post. They’re posing here on Illinois Wesleyan University grounds. That’s the Van Leer Memorial Chime Tower at Broadview Mansion looming in the background.

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