Peoria, Illinois

Peoria is a city located on the bank of the Illinois River. The name of the city was derived from one of the oldest inhabitants of the area; the Peoria tribe. The city of Peoria is a part of the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 3rd biggest MSA of Illinois.

The downtown region of Peoria houses top notch medical, educational, governmental, convention and corporate facilities. This part of the city is also popular among the locals and tourists due to places like Peoria Civic Center, O'Brien Field and several other entertainment areas and eating hubs, located particularly on the riverfront. If you are thinking of relocating in Peoria, then also the downtown area will come as the best option for you. Here, you will get to choose from riverfront lofts, condominiums and apartments based on your budget.

Another notable area of the city is the Peoria Park District; the first park district of Illinois. It has over 9,000 acres of parks, which include 5 community golf courses and the famous Peoria Zoo. Besides all these, the region is also home to a number of semi-private and private golf grounds.

Peoria has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Peoria History

There are archaeological evidences supporting the fact that the region, where we now have the city of Peoria, IL had human civilization since as early as 10,000 B.C. The burial mounds and artifacts found by archeologists while excavating the region reveal that the Native Americans living in this place during the ancient times had an extremely ritualistic and organized mode of living.

The area was inhabited by a group of people known as the Illini Indians during the 1650s. Some of the foremost tribes of Illinois Confederacy were Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Michigamea, Tamaroa and Peoria. Among them, the principal tribe to populate the region was the Peoria tribe, after which the city was named later.

The modern history of Peoria, IL dates back to the 1680s; this was the time when three French explorers visited the area and constructed the Fort Crevecoeur. The fort no longer exists because it was burnt to the ground. The area that had the Fort Crevecoeur became home to Fort Clark in the year 1813. With the inception of Peoria County in 1825, the Fort Clark obtained the designation of the city of Peoria.

After the formation of the city of Peoria, one of the most prominent events hosted by the city was the civil war. Residents of Peoria got sharply divided into groups when the issue of slavery arose. There were several abolition rallies occurring in the city, resisted strongly by the Southern sympathizers.

In the year 1861, on the very day on which the American Civil War started, William Willard, the Mayor of the city arranged a special war recruitment convention for allowing the eager volunteers a chance of participating in the war. Camp Lyon was established where over 7500 Union army men were trained. The next year (1862) saw the establishment of Camp Peoria near the Mary and Adams streets. 536 residents of the Peoria County died for achieving the right for preservation of their Union.

Another prominent historical event occurring in Peoria was the inauguration of the first airmail route in the year 1926. It was named as 'Contract Airmail Route 2'. It used to transport mail from Chicago to St. Louis, with Peoria and Springfield as two midway stops. The entire planning was carried out by the famous American aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh. According to a legend, Lindbergh gave Peoria the opportunity of sponsoring the trans-Atlantic air trip, which was put down by the local government. It is believed that if that offer was accepted, the plane could have been named as 'Spirit of Peoria'.

About Peoria, Illinois

Peoria, IL is the county seat of the Peoria County. The city covers an area of 120 square km, out of which 115.0 square km. is land and the remaining 5 square km. is water. On its east, Peoria is bordered by Illinois River. The eastern border of the city also houses the city of East Peoria, a city connected with Peoria through 4 bridges. The prominent places on the city's western border are a village called Bartonville and West Peoria, another city of Illinois.

Peoria boasts humid and continental climate characterized by hot and humid summers and cold and snowy winters. The mean temperature of the place ranges between 22.5 °F and 75.2 °F. The region experiences snowfall only during the winter months; the average annual snowfall experienced by Peoria is 26.3 inches, which might vary occasionally. Average precipitation occurring in the city, on the other hand, is 36 inches. The precipitation stays at its peak during the summer and spring months and during winter the city records its least precipitation.

The Renaissance Park is a research park established in the summer of 2003. Originally, the place was named as Peoria Medical and Technology District; it is home to 9 residential neighborhoods, the famed Bradley district and a medical district.

Another distinguished tourist destination of Peoria is the Peoria zoo, formerly known as the Glen Oak Zoo. It is one of the most prominent members of the feted Peoria Park District and is rated among the best zoos of the country. In the year 2009, the zoo underwent a major expansion with the launch of the Africa exhibit; it was also the year when the zoo received its new name.

For people interested in exploring the historical sites of the city, the Morron House or the Pettingill-Morron House is a must-visit. It is a house constructed in the year 1868. It got the designation of a Historic Place in the year 1976 and since then it has been playing host to thousands of tourists every year.

The trip to the city of Peoria will stay incomplete, if you don't go for a ride on the Spirit of Peoria, the famous riverboat owned by Alex Grieves. The Spirit of Peoria is the region's first paddle boat. It will take you to Starved Rock State Park (a place near the city of Ottawa, IL) from Pere Marquette State Park (a place near the city of Grafton, IL).

About Peoria County, Illinois

The city of Peoria is the county seat of Peoria County. The regions, which are now part of the Peoria County, used to be included in the Fulton County. Peoria was declared to be a separate county in the year 1825. Like the city of Peoria, the name of the county also was derived from that of the Peoria tribe. The Peoria County includes a large portion of the Illinois River's western valley; its territory extends up to Chicago Portage. Other than Peoria, this county is home to several other cities and towns.

Bartonville, in spite of being a village is one of the most talked about places of Peoria County. Towards the north of this village there's the county's principal airport, Wayne Downing Peoria International Airport. This airport is also home to an important wing of the country's air force. Another small, but important village of Peoria County is Kingston Mines. It covers a total area of only 3.7 square km, out of which 3.5 square km is land.

One of the most remarkable cities of Peoria County is Chillicothe. Due to presence of several natural and manmade attractions, the city's tourism industry always stays busy. Examples of some of the famous tourist spots of Chillicothe are the Three Sisters Park, Shore Acres Park, Chillicothe Historical Society Railroad Museum and Town Theater.

The other airport of the county, Mount Hawley Auxiliary Airport is located in the city of Peoria. This airport covers a total area of 34 hectors and is situated 240 m above the sea level.

For people planning to settle down in this county, there's ample opportunity waiting. There are numerous chances of grabbing lucrative employment or arranging the right education. One of the best schools of the state, Limestone Community High School is situated in the village of Bartonville. Some other famous schools of this county are Brimfield High School, Richwoods High School and Peoria Notre Dame High School.