Showing 1-24 of 29 items found in History
Opened in the late 1800's, this city zoo began to house exotic animals after a traveling circus left behind a lion cub. Located on Historic Route 66 the zoo became a popular attraction among travelers. It is also the only Illinois zoo to feature the endangered Sumatran tiger. They offer many exhibits and zookeeper interaction opportunities that are enjoyed by the whole family. Some highlights include: sun bear, reindeer, Harbor Seals, red pandas, lemurs, Galapagos Tortoise, Bald Eagles, Pallas' Cat, Snow Leopards, gibbons, and Red Wolves. The Zoo features many large indoor and outdoor exhibits such as a Tropical America Rainforest, ZooLab, Katthoefer Animal Building, Wallaby WalkAbout, Children's Zoo, and Animals of Asia.
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
The Chanute Air Museum celebrates the 76 year legacy of the former Chanute Air Force base and the development Illinois aviation. The Museum showcases over 30 aircraft, including a rare P-51H Mustang and XB-47 Stratojet, while exhibits include "Life at Chanute" and "The 99th Pursuit Squadron: From Rantoul to Ramitelli and Beyond." Bus parking and a gift shop are available.
The McLean County Courthouse, capped by a stately dome, serves as a landmark to identify the historic core of the city. Turn-of-the century buildings, many with interesting historical pasts, flank the courthouse square. A visitor can find museums, banks, a legal and governmental center, residential living, a large artists' community, plus an assortment of specialty retail businesses and supportive services in Downtown Bloomington. There is an abundance of restaurants and a lively night scene. Discover all that downtown Bloomington has to offer by shopping, dining, working and playing in this great historical district!
Prairie Aviation Museum has displays, static aircraft, education programs, air shows, group tours, and special aviation events for over 30 years. As an aviation and space museum, we honor military and civilian aviation. While visitors are quick to notice our displays, we love to tell the stories of the men and women who have contributed to the creation, development, expansion, and promise of aviation and space exploration. We are a family friendly museum, where visitors of all ages can touch our displays and static aircraft and visit with members who flew and maintained the aircraft in the Air Park. We love to hear visitor’s stories about experiences that they and/or members of their family have had related to aviation and space.
State Farm is Bloomington-Normal's largest employer and the nation's largest insurance company. Tours are offered at the Corporate Building on State Farm Plaza and the historic Fire Building.
Twin Groves Wind Farm features 240 turbines across 22,000 acres of land. The wind farm generates 396 megawatts of affordable, pollution-free wind energy, which is enough to meet the annual energy needs of about 120,000 homes. Learn more about this exciting new facility with a guided tour which begins at the Twin Groves Lookout Visitor Center.
This unique landmark was restored in 1977, with its Korean/Vietnam War Memorial dedicated in May of 1988.
The Illinois Central Railroad Historical Society is dedicated to preserving historical and educational information about the Illinois Central Railroad and the many predecessor railroads that have been part of the IC system. This headquarters feature a depot, museum and library.
The Museum of the Grand Prairie has an extensive collection interpreting 19th and early 20th century life in east-central Illinois. Two floors of exhibits present architecture, trades and occupations, decorative arts, and childhood and domestic life of the time. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for children to interact and learn about the residents of the Grand Prairie. Educational programs are offered for all ages throughout the year.
The traditional Victorian home belonged to Matthew T. Scott, a well-known agriculturalist, and his wife Julia Green, one of the founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Stevenson family brought honor to McLean County for three generations. Buried at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery are Adlai I, Vice President to Grover Cleveland, and Adlai II, Governor of Illinois, Ambassador to the United Nations and twice Democratic candidate for the United States Presidency. Also buried here are Adlai's wife, Letitia Green Stevenson, and many other important figures from Bloomington- Normal history. A discovery walk takes place here annually to celebrate the lives of these historical figures.
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
Blacksmithing, as well as artistic and functional iron work, is performed in this smithy that was erected in 1928.
The Early American Museum has an extensive collection interpreting 19th and early 20th century life in east-central Illinois. Two floors of exhibits present architecture, trades and occupations, decorative arts, and childhood and domestic life of the time.
A resource to encourage education and to promote research, the library acts as a cultural center, housing 18,709 books. It is also home to large print books, audio books, newspapers, magazines, music cassettes, videos, bifocal kits, and art prints. Patrons have access to a fax machine, copy machine, microfilm printer-reader, genealogy materials, and the internet through two computers. The library offers a meeting room, outreach programs, children's programs, and a children's library.
The Patton Cabin was built in June 1829 by John Patton, one of the area's first settlers. The cabin was constructed with the help of Native Americans who lived in the area.
This museum is located in the lower level of the Crumbaugh Library in Le Roy.The major displays include an 1890s re-creation of a child's room and a communications exhibit.
Built in 1853, the restored house of blacksmith Robert Ingle has undergone extensive restoration, and features antiques, a family bible and the town's first piano. Reservations required.
The personal collection of Gary Simpkins includes artifacts from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War and Desert Storm.
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
The Lucca Grill was established in 1936 by brothers Fred and John Baldini and was named for their hometown of Lucca, Italy. Located on Historic Route 66, customers enjoy the delicious thin-crust pizza as much as they appreciate the ornate tin ceiling and antique mahogany bar.
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.