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Looking Back on Old Bloomington

This is a newspaper article from the “Bloomington Daily Telephone” from December 16, 1929 by Blaine W. Bradfute. Four and five decades ago the boys of the north end of Bloomington found amusement at the Showers pond and the Hunter pond. How many people of today can recall the sites of these two ponds? The

Hail and Farewell

Tales of the H-T: Stories taken from or inspired by material in the Herald-Times archive at the Monroe County History Center. By Rod Spaw The image is surreal. The figure of a woman, blonde and tan, floats on a sea of bobbing heads against a green backdrop. She is wearing bikini bottoms and a white

Here are Harrowing Details of I.U’s First Football Game

Many students and alumni are looking forward to the start of the 2022 IU football season. Let’s hope they have a better start than the 1889 team. Below is an undated article about Old Bloomington found in a donated scrapbook. All photos are of early IU football teams. As soon as I.U. organized its first football

Irish Immigrants Valued Education

by Rose McIlveen March 22, 1986 For the Irish, the trauma of uprooting themselves from the old country may have been offset by the promise of a fresh start, but most of them who came to Monroe County did not leave the futures of their children to chance. Fully 64 percent of the Irish families

Newsboy a Witness to Wave of Terror in Monroe County

Blog post by Rod Spaw Tales of the H-T: stories taken from or inspired by the archives of The Herald-Times at the Monroe County History Center. For more than 40 years, the limestone sculpture of a newsboy has graced a corner of the yard at the home of Chris Kohler and Sherry Rouse in Monroe

The PCB Display at the Public Library Didn’t Go As Planned…

Blog post by Rod Spaw Tales of the H-T: Stories taken from or inspired by the Herald-Times archive at the Monroe County History Center. A display intended to inform the public about an environmental hazard had unintended consequences for the Monroe County Public Library and its patrons in the summer of 1984. The issue was

Frontier Feud Played Out in “Post” Ads

by Rose McIlveen March 8 1988 Despite the august presence of the Indiana Seminary in Bloomington in the 1830s the town exhibited some of the rough characteristics of the frontier. One of the earliest cases on the court docket here was typical of the many slander and “affray” disputes. Seth Goodwin had been charged in 1818

Tales of the H-T: The One That Got Away

Stories taken from or inspired by the H-T Archives at the Monroe County History Center By Rod Spaw John Terhune can tell you a thing or two about The One that Got Away, but his is no fish story. It is a tale of the elusive moment, and what it takes to capture history, turning

Smithville Saloon Gets Rude Treatment

“Looking Back” by Rose McIlveen March 28, 1987 Monday, August 29, 1898, was not a run-of-the-mill kind of day in Smithville. That was when the locals awoke to discover that in the near future, at least, they would have father to go to to “wet their whistles.” Chirped the Bloomington Courier, “The people of Smithville have a

Neighborhood Stores Were Full of Charm

Looking Back by Herbert H. Skirvin 8/8/81 Three cheers for the old fashioned country stores, like those once existing in and around Bloomington! They were enshrined in Americana years ago, but a few real-life survivors can still be found in some of the nation’s out-of-the-way spots. Then, too, there are the replicas, fascinating the vintage

Barter Once Common Substitution for Money

Looking Back by Rose McIlveen April 1981 Monroe Countians who are used to making regular stops at the drive-in-windows of their banks probably didn’t realize that their ancestors had to swap goods and services to get their necessities. In 1833, Mrs. Cornelius Perring, wife of the principal of the Young Women’s Seminary, wrote to a

Local Man Lost on Titanic

Looking Back article by Rose McIlveen Apr 21 1984 One of the more ostentatious tombstones in Rose Hill Cemetery bears the name of J.B. Crafton. The impressive monument – made of two colors of granite with ornamental carving – is, in reality, only a memorial to the man. He isn’t buried beside there or anywhere

Some Hunting Experiences Hard To “Bear”

“Looking Back” article by Rose McIlveen 6/25/83 Bear hunting was a challenge engaged in by the earliest Monroe County settlers for practical rather than sporting reasons. Before the supply wagons carrying goods for sale began to find their way to the county, settlers were obliged to live on a combination of the corn they could

High School Closing Blow to Stinesville

“Looking Back” by Rose McIlveen Aug 10 1986 The heart of any community the size of Stinesville was traditionally found in its high school. It was the social center of the town, and residents rallied around the basketball team – called the Quarry Lads – through good seasons and bad. In 1963 the schools in

First Fairs Exhibit Different, Emphasis Same – Promoting Farm Life

By Rose H. McIlVeen 7/31/82 “An act for the encouragement of agriculture” was approved by the Indiana Legislature in February 1835. According to to The History of the Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana, the following June a meeting was held in Bloomington for the purpose of organizing a local agricultural society. Participants in the public