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Bloomington Town Pumps Were Watering Holes for Man and Beast

Blog post by Randi Richardson The old town pumps were a part of Bloomington’s early endeavors to furnish water for the community. One of the first acts of the Monroe County commissioners in 1818 was the cleaning out of two springs near the square for public use.  As the community grew, so did the need

John F. Dillon Designed His Own Tombstone

Blog post by Randi Richardson It isn’t often that one designs their own tombstone or the designer of a tombstone is even known.  And it isn’t often that one tombstone stands about among many others in a given cemetery.  For those reasons the tombstones of John F. Dillon and the Dillon family at Rose Hill

Visit Louden’s; Win a New Ford

Blog post by Randi Richardson Monroe County wasn’t exactly hurting for grocery stores in the 1950s.  According to the 1953 Bloomington Telephone Directory, there were 53 supermarkets spread throughout the county with the large majority situated in Bloomington.  Nevertheless, Louden’s Supermarket at 4th and Madison opened with much pomp and circumstance in September 1955. An 8-page ad was published

Stories of Suffrage, Part 1: Mrs. Agnes Evans

Hello! I am Hilary Fleck, the Collection Manager at the Monroe County History Center. I have the wonderful opportunity to research Monroe County women involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the fight for the right to vote through funding from the Indiana Humanities’ May Wright Sewall Fellowship. My research so far has uncovered dozens


Blog post by Randi Richardson In 1877 a large number of Bloomington residents raised hogs as a supplemental means of livelihood and/or to provide meat for the family.  Hogs roaming at large were a familiar sight in the city making themselves a nuisance even about the public square.  Sometimes an errant porker, finding a door

Letters Home from an Enlistee in IU’s S. A. T. C. Program: Darling Mother

Blog post by Randi Richardson On October 1, 1918, as nature dressed the trees in lovely autumn colors, many life-changing events were occurring within the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) on the IU campus.  That morning, precisely at 11 AM, President William Lowe Bryan met with 1,200 inductees assembled on Jordan Field in an oath-taking

David Jacobs Killed a Golden Eagle to Save a Goose, or So He Said

Blog post by Randi Richardson Golden eagles, not to be confused with bald eagles, are one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America.  They hunt on land and in the air.  They are capable of preying on land animals the size of a small deer with a grip strength said to be 100 times

Bloomington Packing Company Closes Its Doors after 56 Years in Business

Blog post by Randi Richardson For many years, in many homes and restaurants, tins of Winterlein lard and other Winterlein meat products were a common sight.  Bloomington Packing Company, manufacturer of Winterlein merchandise, was founded in 1922 by Ernest Reuter, Elzie L. Baldwin and Fred G. Baierlein, all former residents of Muncie.  Winterlein was created

A Lasting Gift from the IU Class of 1868

Blog post by Randi Richardson Looking at the busy parking lot in front of Kroger at Second and College today, one would see little or no evidence that the property was once the original campus of Indiana University.  But before the last remaining building was demolished, several relics were removed and made a part of


Blog post by Randi Richardson Deed books include property transactions and slaves were considered property.  Occasionally, then, even in those states where slavery was banned by constitutional law, deed books include contracts of indentured servitude, one of the ways whites maneuvered to keep possession of their slaves in spite of the law.   John Sedwick,

Bierly’s Bit in Building Bloomington First Horseless Carriage

Blog post by Randi Richardson In 2017, in a blog item on this website, Joshua O. Howe was credited with assembling the first horseless carriage to run on the streets of Bloomington.  But there seems to be another side to the story. Mary Loftin, in an article published in the Bloomington Daily Herald Telephone on

Rev. Moses M. Porter: A Man of God, Beloved by the People

Rev. Moses M. Porter, who for 50 plus years was pastor of the Second Baptist Church, was during his lifetime one of the best known blacks in Bloomington.  He was the best known preacher this town ever had, according to Howard “Doc” Lewis in a newspaper article from the Bloomington Sunday Tribune and Star Courier


Blog post by Randi Richardson The Grant Street Inn at 310 N. Grant Street, Bloomington, Indiana, wasn’t always an inn.  And it wasn’t always on Grant Street.  It is a house with an interesting history wrapped around the various people who lived there and some interesting events. It isn’t quite certain when the house was built.  Originally


Blog post by Randi Richardson Tim Rea, a resident of Evansville, Indiana, stopped by the Monroe County History Center a few weeks ago after learning that his mother, Mary (Steen) Rea, had been featured in one of the History Center’s blogs.  He was eager to learn whatever he could about the Roxy Theatre which was at the