"They were celebrating," said
"And then there's a companion photo where people were jumping in the fountain (on the
The historic images were captured by the late
They're two of about 180 photos in a new video that will be shown as part of "Belleville Bicentennial Exhibition: 200," which opens Thursday at
"(The video is) not just a bunch of photos out of history books," said co-organizer
The exhibit is one of many activities planned this year to commemorate Belleville's 200th birthday.
It consists of more than 200 artifacts on loan from local residents that help tell the story of Belleville's past: Military uniforms and sports memorabilia, musical instruments and brewery equipment, women's garments and kitchen appliances.
"This is the end of almost a two-year process," said co-organizer
Will is chairman and Judy is a member of the bicentennial's
The artifacts are the stars of the show, but Judy hopes people will take time to watch the 16-minute video.
"The exhibit is wonderful, and it took a lot of time to go out in the community and collect things and research them," she said. "But the video will be here when everything else is gone. It has some lasting value."
Judy is collections coordinator and Bob is photo editor at Belleville's
One of Judy's favorites shows female gymnasts at Belleville's
"You can learn so much about the community just by looking at this screen," Judy said, pointing out businesses such as
Another of Judy's favorites is an 1892 portrait of
"I'm intrigued with women's work and women in business," Judy said. "You can research Belleville and go through all the county atlases and histories, and there isn't a female picture in them. Well, maybe one or two.
"Now what does that tell you? It certainly doesn't mean women weren't working in those days."
Photos in the video are arranged by the same categories as the exhibit: Belleville begins, Belleville grows, Belleville works, Belleville serves, Belleville learns and Belleville plays.
Each photo tells a little something about local life.
Bob is gradually restoring some of the museum's 6,000 photos that are tattered or creased.
"I enjoy it, bringing these photos back into good condition, to the point that they can be enjoyed by everyone," he said.
At a glance
What: "Belleville Bicentennial Exhibition: 200"
When: Thursday through
Information: Visit swic.edu/sac or call 618-222-5278
(c)2014 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)
Visit the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.) at www.bnd.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services