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

#Towns -- Bloomington

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Red, White, and Kaboom! Independence Day 1941

Nine-year-old Tommy Roberts of Bloomington stocks up on fireworks for the July 4, 1941 festivities.

The Museum wishes you and yours a happy—and safe!—Fourth of July

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Independence Day 1964 Miller Park, Bloomington

For well over a century, Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side has served as home to many the city’s Fourth of July activities, including the evening fireworks show.

Who remembers when Miller Park featured a Ferris wheel and other carnival-like rides? Who remembers spending Independence Day at Miller Park with friends and family?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

BPD’s Rogues Gallery August 1947

Bloomington Police Chief Clyde Hibbens (left) and Officer James Daley examine some of the 1,600 mug shots in the department’s newly acquired “rogues gallery” investigative aid.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bzzzz! June 30, 1938

William Knuth, a laid off boilermaker and hobbyist beekeeper, was called to the Darling Poultry and Fish Market, 218 S. Center St., to corral some swarming bees. He located the queen, brushed her into the box, and the others followed.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Irvin Theater, Bloomington Circa 1958

The Irvin was the Twin City’s premier movie house for much of the 20th century. Located on the 200 block of East Jefferson Street, it opened in 1915, closed in 1982, and was torn down in 1987.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

I beg to differ … Waterloo v. Bloomers, July 6, 1938

From 1901 to 1939, Bloomington was home to the Bloomers of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. Here’s Len Backer, Waterloo Red Hawks skipper, protesting a call at long-gone Fans Field, the Bloomers home park. That’s Waterloo backstop Clyde Chell on the right. The Red Hawks beat the Bloomers this night 5-1.

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Written by Bill Kemp in

Paving, 400 block North Main Street June 1938

Workmen with local contractor Berenz & Son lay asphalt down the 400 block of North Main Street in Bloomington. Today, the Jaeger’s Candy Shop storefront is occupied by Gigi Bottega. The Miller Music storefront is now Bobzbay.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Miller Park Beach July 1941

For decades Miller Park beach was the most popular spots in the Twin Cities to cool off during the summer months. If you can identify any or all of these three swimmers, let us know! Miller Park beach closed for good in 2002.

Who remembers spending time at this beach?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

The Iceman Cometh … but for how long? June 1957

Once a common sight in windows throughout the Twin Cities and beyond, ice cards were becoming an increasingly rare sight by 1957. What were they?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Nybakke Vacuum Shop April 1982

Nybakke is currently celebrating its 85th anniversary, making it one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Central Illinois.

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