1866: The Shaft

by NORMAN V. KELLY
Photo Courtesy of Peoria Historical Society


I remember seeing ‘The Shaft,’ that’s what we grew up calling it, standing there within the square on the Jefferson Street side of the courthouse.  It was 1950, the Korean War was on and I was heading for the United States Air Force.  On my last day in Peoria, I stood looking up at that old weather-beaten, limestone shaft thinking a bit about the Civil War.  I remember wondering why it was still...

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1851: THE PRAIRIE HANGINGS

by Norman V. Kelly

It was 1850 and the little village trading post had become a town in 1835 and a city in 1845.  The total make up of the entire Peoria city limits was only one square mile.  There were a few cabins, a house or two a couple of breweries and distilleries and a library.  It was astounding how this little city...

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Diary of Our River City

I thought I would bring you some early history in a form of a diary that was devotedly kept and guarded by our keeper of the records, the folks at the Peoria Public Library. Even before we became a city in 1845, there were newspapers located here, followed quickly by a library and record keepers, court files, and police reports. That record was scrupulously kept. Most importantly for me as a writer was the record of deaths kept in the coroner’s office.  The only time our records were distorted was during the time our pet gangster....

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Miss Daisy Hale

Robert L Killion
Curator – Peoria Historical Society

In March of this year I was contacted by Barbara Meyn. I knew her name as someone who had been a volunteer and a Vice President for PHS as well as Pettengill-Morron House Coordinator. She had done a huge amount of research and work in the collection in the past. She had been working with her church archives and as the project was completed she had picked back up her research on the Pettengill family intending to finish her,,,

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Stephanie Bernardi Brott

by Bill More

I had the great good pleasure to speak with Stephanie Bernardi Brott to interview her regarding food trends in Central Illinois. Stephanie is now 42 and has been in the food business nearly all her life. She and her family own Mona’s and Capponi’s restaurants in Toluca, Illinois, for decades, and the Bernardi’s restaurants in... READ MORE

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Thoughts for 2013

by Marvin Forssander-Baird

2012 is history: literally. It has joined the likes of 1812 with its famous overture by Tchaikovsky and 1912 when the Titanic steamed into history. But where, exactly, is 2012 and those other years? They are all around you. Everywhere, the accomplishments of 2012 resonate in houses that were built last year, in trees that were planted, in cars that hit the roads and in a million other new bits and pieces of physical evidence of our meanderings. 2013 is awash in the achievements of 2012. READ MORE

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URBAN TAPESTRY

by Marvin Forssander-Baird

For over three centuries, there has been European and then American settlement in the area that is now Peoria. Prior to that, Native Americans were a part of this landscape for countless ages. Everywhere around us, there are echoes of that long and varied past. There is something rather indelible that binds us all together through the spans of time; much like a tapestry made of a thousand threads woven together and bound by an intricate border. READ MORE

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PEORIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S FACEBOOK PAGE REVEALS POPULAR TOPICS

by Steven E. Streight

One way to keep informed about living in Peoria is to follow the Peoria Historical Society's Facebook page.

I learn about what Peorians and former residents of the Peoria Area are most interested in by looking at what PHS wall posts get the most traction with our fans. You might be inspired to become a contributor to Peoria Life online magazine by considering the most popular topics. During August and September, the most successful topics included Bartonville State Hospital, the Captain Jinks Show, Peoria Mineral Springs, Abraham Lincoln, and Hiram Walker. READ MORE

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