Showing 1-43 of 43 items found in History
Miller Park Zoo
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.
Prairie Aviation Museum
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.
McLean County Museum of History
Founded in 1904, the museum is housed in a magnificent courthouse that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in downtown Bloomington, the museum reveals the lives of the people who shaped McLean County, including those who encountered and knew Abraham Lincoln.
State Farm Insurance Tour
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.
Stevenson Graves/Evergreen Cemetery
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.
Miller Park Pavilion
This unique landmark was restored in 1977, with its Korean/Vietnam War Memorial dedicated in May of 1988.
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 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!
Ewing Cultural Center
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.
Beningo's was established in the early 1970s, the tradition goes on four generations, specializing in homemade dishes from scratch for your dining pleasure. Among restaurants in Bloomington, let Beningo's take the worry and stress out of your busy schedule by simply ordering our famous lasagna, or choose from our wide variety of authentic entrees that are sure to make your family dinner or party unique and delicious, but most importantly, enjoyable! Click through our website to view our menu, read about our history, and learn more about one of the most respected and beloved dining establishments and restaurants in Bloomington IL and in Central Illinois. Come by Beningo's today to try our signature "sweet Sicilian" sauce, true to our Sicilian heritage.
Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
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!
Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66
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!
Beer Nuts Company Store - Plant
Bloomington, Illinois is the only city in the world where beer nuts are made! A video presentation on the making of beer nuts can be viewed in the gift shop, and nuts are available to sample in the Company Store.
American taphouse serving flatbreads, burgers & pasta. Located in Downtown Bloomington in Abraham Lincoln's former law office.
Parkview Food and Pub
This locally-owned pub traces its roots back to 1928. Its scenic location across from Miller Park, Forrest Park and on Historic Route 66 makes this restaurant a popular stop for Route 66 travelers. They offer a variety of food specials, drink specials, video gaming, and lottery. Plus you can watch the game on the big screens. Stop by and try some delicious broasted chicken, walleye, burger's and more!
Behind the Curtain Tour - Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
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.
Looking for Lincoln Audio Tour
This CD-based audio tour presents President Lincoln as a returning visitor, talking about the places he visited and their meaning to him. Whether you drive the route or enjoy the tour from your favorite armchair, the audio tour is a special and novel way to learn about the history of Lincoln and the role Bloomington-Normal played in his life. The CD can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History
David Foster Wallace Tour
A self guided tour of places in Bloomington-Normal was developed with a map and description of the sites to explore the life of David Foster Wallace who was an American author of novels, short stories and essays, as well as a professor of English and creative writing. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Infinite Jest was completed while Wallace was living in Bloomington and employed in the Illinois State University English Department. In 2013, Illinois State created an annual David Foster Wallace Conference to celebrate his life and review his works.
Matthew T. Scott Home
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.
Twin Groves Wind Farm
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.
Dominy Memorial Library
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.
Fairbury Echoes Museum
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
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.
Children's Discovery Museum
Come experience three floors of unique, hands-on, larger-than-life exhibits! This museum is designed to create a sense of wonder that excites the love of learning in children of all ages. Be sure to discover the new Children's Discovery Museum.
Spirits of Bloomington Historic Ghost Tours
The Spirits of Bloomington Historic Ghost Tours feature guides dressed as President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln who reveal fascinating tales, myths and paranormal accounts of McLean County.
Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College offers interactive, simulated space and science experiences through scheduled team missions for students and the public.
Sprague’s Super Service in Normal
A Tudor revival building constructed in 1931 by William Sprague to house a service station, restaurant and garage, it is the largest of three remaining two-story fuel station buildings on US 66, originally housing a café and service station on the main floor plus two second-floor apartments for the owner and the station attendant.
Historic Normal Theater
Located in Uptown Normal, the Normal Theater originally opened in 1937 and was the first movie theater in Bloomington-Normal built specifically for sound films. An Art Deco showplace built with streamline design, the Normal Theater has been completely restored to its original condition. It now operates as a film center, showing classic films on the big screen as well as independent and world cinema titles. In addition, the theater is used for a wide variety of non-film events and is available for rentals where assembly seating is required.
Standard Filling Station in Odell
Although Odell's Standard Oil Gas Station no longer sells gasoline, it has become a welcome center for the Village of Odell. Owned by the Village of Odell, the station is open daily 11:00am to 3:00pm for tours and as a visitor center.
Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum
See the finest collection of memorabilia from the historic Mother Road in Illinois. The free-admission Hall of Fame features nostalgic photos and displays, plus attractions that include Route 66 artist and icon Bob Waldmire's bus and van, and the world's largest Route 66 shield.
Livingston County Courthouse
Located on the square in downtown Ponitac, the courthouse was built in 1875 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Abraham Lincoln tried some of his earlier cases here.
Catherine V. Yost Museum and Art Center
The Yost house was built in 1898 by Z.F. Yost. The museum portrays the life of an upper-middle class family during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Route 66 Murals - Pontiac
These murals bring back the memories of the heyday of Route 66 in Pontiac, Illinois.
Pontiac Visitor's Center
Be sure to stop by and pick up local Pontiac and tourist information for area attractions, dining, coupons and shopping. Located inside the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum building.
Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
See the finest memorabilia associated with the history of the Mother Road in Illinois. Among the artifacts, you’ll find the bus and van of Route 66 icon, Bob Waldmire—a true legend of the Mother Road. During your visit, you’ll likely spot Bob’s brother, Buz Waldmire, sharing stories of his late brother’s famous travels up and down Route 66. Be sure to step around back for a great photo op in front of the World's Largest Route 66 shield and other great murals. Admission is free.
Livingston County War Museum
Walking through Livingston County War Museum is like taking a tour of the 20th Century, including artifacts, films, books, uniforms and weapons of several wars. The museum does not glorify war, but shows the best attributes of men and women caught up in war. In doing so, we respectfully honor the service of America's veterans, and the men and women from the area who served in the military.
International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Exhibit
Exhibit featuring the history of outdoor sign and mural art. Videos, drawings, and artifacts tell the story of advertising art. Art work for sale. The International Walldog Mural & Sign Art Exhibit is dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the outdoor wall advertising signs painted in the days before electronic mass media. The painters who created those early signs called themselves "Walldogs." The displays which are found at the museum tell the history of the early sign painters who created their art on the sides of brick buildings, barns, and other structures. Examples of those early signs can still be seen throughout the Midwest and, though faded, peeling, and sometimes barely readable, these "ghost signs" remain an important part of our collective cultural and commercial history.
Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum & Resource Center
The history of the Oakland and Pontiac car brands as seen through 15 classic cars, dealer artifacts, a complete print library and memorabilia. Free admission-open year round.
Historic Swinging Bridges
Three bridges which cross the Vermillion River. Built as early as 1898 and one of the most popular attractions in Pontiac. Bridge 1 connects Riverview Drive and Play Park. It was built in July 1898 by Joliet Bridge Company with an iron structure, 190 feet long and 4 feet wide and supported by cables swung from masonry piers. The current bridge is a wooden structure. Bridge 2 connects the Play Park and Chautauqua Park - Eden M. Johnson Memorial circa 1926. Bridge 3 connects the south side and Riverside-Humiston Park. It was built in connection with the adjoining park, circa 1978: Illinois Contractors, Inc.
Built in the 1850's, this home welcomed Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Among the many connections Pontiac has to Abraham Lincoln, one of the most interesting revolves around Lincoln's friendship with local attorney, Jason W. Strevell. Strevell was born in New York and migrated to Illinois in 1855. He was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year, and began his practice in Pontiac. He was involved in his legal practice here for twenty-four years. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives, and also had one term as a Senator. The house is currently being restored by the Livingston County Historical Society.
Looking for Lincoln Exhibits
Pontiac’s historic connections to Abraham Lincoln date back to Lincoln’s early days as a young lawyer traveling the 8th Judicial District. Lincoln visited Pontiac many times, represented a number of local citizens in legal actions, and made connections here that helped him to rise to prominence in state and national politics. Nine outdoor story boards help tell the stories associated with Lincoln's many visits to Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Visitor Center.
Route 66 Heritage Wayside Exhibits
Five wayside story boards that highlight the history of Route 66 in Pontiac. Pick up a map at the Route 66 Museum.
Old Log Cabin Restaurant
Situated along the historical old route 66, this small town restaurant is authentic and rich with history. Opened in 1926 by Joe & Victor Seloti it still contains the knotty pine walls that were crafted from cedar telephone poles. Stop by to enjoy classic home cooking and take a step back in time.