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

#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Old McLean County Jail Undated

Old jail house, undated.

The view here is from the corner of Madison and Monroe streets, downtown Bloomington, looking southwest. That’s the fifth jail in McLean County’s history.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Auto Hotel Downtown Bloomington

Fireproof automobile garage, 1937.

In July 1937, a group of Bloomington businessmen purchased the old post office building and then razed the post office in order to build Bloomington’s first fireproof automobile garage. The Auto Hotel opened in late June 1938.

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Written by Kylie Eastman in Historic Photos

Why So Serious? Knight of Pythias, 1934

Knight of Pythias, 1930s.

The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal society organized in the 1860s, maintained a Bloomington chapter for more than a century. Seen here are unidentified members of Damon Lodge No. 10. Although this photograph is undated, research tells us that the local Pythians celebrated their 64th anniversary in Bloomington on February 19, 1934.

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Written by Emma Meyer in Collection Highlights

One Dress, Eleven Brides

Myrtle Abbott McCarty, married 30 November 1904

This beautiful wedding gown was recently donated to the museum. First worn in 1904, it was subsequently worn by 10 brides – all descendants of the original wearer, Miss Alice Myrtle Abbott.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Adlai at Bloomington Country Club September 1953

Adlai Stevenson visiting Bloomington, 1953.

In September 1953, Adlai E. Stevenson (right) spent five days in Bloomington, his boyhood home, visiting friends and family. Earlier this week we posted another photo from this visit.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Bloomers Fans Field, 1913

Bloomington Bloomers, 1913.

For nearly of four decades Bloomington fielded a team in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. In 1913, the Bloomers finished a disappointing seventh in the eight-team league.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Booker T. Washington Home West Side of Bloomington, Undated

Home for Colored Children, undated.

Established in 1918, the McLean County Home for Colored Children was located on the 1200 block of W. Moulton St. In the late 1960s, the Booker T. Washington Home merged with the Lucy Orme Morgan Home, a group home for white girls.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day 1960

Memorial Day flowers, 1960.

Seen here is an unidentified woman laying flowers in an unknown cemetery in the Bloomington area.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day 1960 African-American Legionnaires

Memorial Day parade, 1960.

The Redd-William American Legion Post color guard heads north on East Street in downtown Bloomington during the Memorial Day parade of May 30, 1960. Redd-Williams was the Legion post for local African-American veterans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day, May 30, 1935 Downtown Bloomington

Memorial Day parade, 1935.

Memorial Day 1935 in Bloomington included a parade that began at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street.
This photographs shows the local Boy Scout contingent heading south along the 100 block of South Main Street.

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