Peoria Historical Society Guided Walking Tours

Peoria Historical Society

Peoria Historical Society will offer guided walking tours in historic neighborhoods, Springdale Cemetery, and other places of historical interest this summer and fall. Tours will be from 9:30-11 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The schedule for June is:

  • June 4 – “Grand Glen Oak Avenue” with Beth Johnson. Meet at John C. Flanagan House Museum, 942 NE Glen Oak Ave.
  • June 5 – “Springdale Cemetery’s Soldier Hill” with Corey Curtis. Meet at Springdale Cemetery office, 3014 N. Prospect Road. 
  • June 11 – “High Street and Moss Avenue” with Gary Ebeling. Meet at Converse Marketing, 1125 Main St. 
  • une 12 – “Randolph-Roanoke Historic District” with Connie Tomczyk. Meet at the park on the corner of Randolph and Hamilton.
  • June 18 – “Springdale Cemetery Drive-Around, Part 1″ with Bernie Drake. This tour is 2 hours. Meet at Springdale Cemetery office.
  • June 19 – “Recalling the Theaters of Peoria” with John Leyland. Meet at Peoria Public Library, 107 NE Monroe St. 
  • June 25 – “Lydia and Lucie” with Marilyn Leyland. Meet at Springdale Cemetery office.
  • June 26 – “Springdale Cemetery Drive-Around, Part 2” with Linda Aylward. Meet at Springdale Cemetery office.

Tickets are $15 and are available at or by calling the historical society at 674-1921. Social distancing and masks are required.

A Soft Knock on the Door: The Abolition Movement in Peoria

Peoria Historical Society will present “A Soft Knock on the Door: The Abolition Movement in Peoria” at 2 p.m. June 13 in the backyard garden at Pettengill-Morron House Museum, 1212 W. Moss Ave. 

The presentation will focus on the Underground Railroad in Peoria and Peorians’ efforts to end slavery, said Peoria Historical Society volunteer Corey Curtis, who will lead the presentation. It’s being held, in part, to commemorate Juneteenth, the holiday that observes the ending of slavery in the United States. 

“Abolitionists in Peoria fought hard to see that slavery ended,” Curtis said. “I became interested in the abolitionist movement after becoming a docent at the Pettengill-Morron House Museum and researching the Civil War in Peoria. References to the Underground Railroad would occur, and I became intrigued about what part Peoria played in the system.”

Curtis pointed out that African Americans from Peoria were part of the 29th United States Colored Troops from Illinois. The regiment played a role in the Union Army’s presence in southern Texas on June 19, 1865, when it was announced a full 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved people were free.

Curtis, who is studying to be a history teacher, was the Peoria Historical Society’s Volunteer of the Year in 2019. He conducted the society’s “Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War” history bus tours. 

Admission to the presentation is $15 and is available at

Attendees who become members of the Peoria Historical Society at the presentation will receive a free house museum tour at a later date.

For more information, contact the Peoria Historical Society at 674-1921.


For additional informative and inspirational articles visit 50 Plus News and Views Greater Peoria Area online today.

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