Special Events

Follow our Events page for a full schedule of Peoria Historical Society events.


History Thru Art - 55th Annual Rennick Art Show

The Peoria Historical Society Presents the 55th Annual Rennick History Thru Art Show at the Peoria Riverfront Museum May 4 - 27. All artwork will be done by local artists and will have historical significance to Peoria. An opening reception will be May 3 and tickets will available through the office. Plan your visit! Registration forms for artists is through this link.

Peoria Historical Society Exhibit at the Peoria Public Library

Historic Art Inspired by Local History will exhibit works of art from the Peoria Historical Society’s collection as well as collection artifacts which help tell the story behind some of the art. PHS is pleased to display several works by well known Peoria painters such as Hedley Waycott and William Hardin. Embellishing the art will be select artifacts which connect to the art on display. The exhibit will open at the Peoria Public Library, Main Library Gallery on Friday, May 3 and will close on Wednesday, May 29.

The Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival

The Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival features over 120 vendors, food, and live music. The Historical Society holds a sale on the front lawn of the Pettengill-Morron House Museum and the House is open for tours throughout the day.

4th of July at Flanagan House

Enjoy a wonderful view of the magnificent Peoria fireworks on the Illinois riverfront as you relax in the shade of the Flanagan House yard. Refreshments are available or pack your own picnic. Home Tours are also available! 

Peoria Chiefs Baseball Outing 

Peoria Distillers Week at Dozer Park. Go back in time as we bring back the popular Peoria Distillers namesake each summer. The Chiefs become the Distillers and have a Jersey Auction! Funds raised support the Peoria Historical Society.

henri deTonti award celebration

Each year the Historical Society honors individuals who demonstrate outstanding community leadership. This year we honor Jim Baldwin. September 12, 2019 at the Hayden - Clark Alumni Center at Bradley University. Tickets will be available at the Peoria Historical Society office.  

Holiday Home Tours

Enjoy our annual tour of historic homes in Peoria that have been decorated for the holidays, along with special displays and activities. This event falls on the first Saturday and Sunday each December.

Flanagan House

Open for Tours the first Sunday of the month from 1 PM - 4 PM and by appointment.

The John C. Flanagan House Museum was built in 1837 on Peoria's east bluff by Judge John C. Flanagan and is the oldest standing house in Peoria. This American Federalist style house offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley. Collections of antique glass, china, furniture, toys, quilts and vintage clothing are displayed. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Peoria Historical Society.

PETTENGILL-MORRON house

Open for tours the first Sunday of the month from 1 PM - 4 PM and every Thursday from 10 AM - 2 PM and by appointment.

Celebrate 150 years of this home and learn about all of the owners, stories of abolitionists and the underground railroad, what famous actor was married in the home and other stories of Peoria's past along with unique collection pieces. 

 


History on the Move: Historical Peoria Bus Tours

Throughout spring, summer and fall, our History on the Move Historic Bus Tours provide the unique opportunity to view many of the historic homes and venues in the Peoria area. Expert guides provide fascinating stories and information.

Certified PHS guides lead historical bus tours from June through October on Friday and Saturdays. Custom ("Step-on") tours with a PHS-certified guide can also be arranged for organizations who provide their own private transportation. The customized historic tour can also be combined with a tour of one or both of the historic house museums. Tour themes are listed below.


Roll Out the Barrel Tour

Peoria was once the whiskey capital of the world. Learn how and why so many distilleries and breweries came to be located here.


Naughty to Nice Tour

This tour traces some of Peoria’s colorful past during the 1920’s, including the site of the Bernie Shelton murder. Also discover why Peoria has earned “All-America City” status four times.


River City Tour

This tour has it all - the earliest settlement of the area, the whiskey and earth-moving capital of the world, the great mansions of Grandview Drive and the beautiful historic areas of High Street and Moss Avenue.


Grandview Drive & Springdale Cemetery Tour

Enjoy spectacular views of the river from the world’s most beautiful drive while seeing elegant homes of past and present Peorians. Continue with a tour of the oldest chartered cemetery in the state of Illinois, which features 255 acres of tree-lined roads.


Abraham Lincoln & the Civil War Tour

Learn the story of Lincoln’s many visits to Peoria, the Civil War troops who trained here and the monuments erected in their honor.


Haunted Peoria Tour

Enjoy the dark side of Peoria as we venture to places where strange sightings and events have been reported.


Landmarks & Monuments (NEW TOUR!) 

This tour focuses on some of the many wonderful outdoor sculptures in Peoria, as well as notable structures not emphasized in our other tours.


Peoria was settled as a French fur trading outpost in 1691 under the direction of the French explorer Henri de Tonti. The first Americans settled here in 1819. The village was first officially incorporated as a town on July 18, 1835. At that time, the settlement looked much like this view which was originally drawn in August 1831 by John M. Roberts. This colored reproduction was created later by Charles Overall.

Peoria was settled as a French fur trading outpost in 1691 under the direction of the French explorer Henri de Tonti. The first Americans settled here in 1819. The village was first officially incorporated as a town on July 18, 1835. At that time, the settlement looked much like this view which was originally drawn in August 1831 by John M. Roberts. This colored reproduction was created later by Charles Overall.