Special Events

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


Peoria Historical Society Trivia Night

Get your friends together for a fun night to test your knowledge Peoria while competing against some of the Tour guides and Volunteers. Always a fun night with lots of prizes. Details for Trivia 2020 coming soon.

Peoria Historical Society Exhibits at the Peoria Public Library

The Historical Society has an annual exhibit at the Peoria Public Library. Artwork and artifacts from our collection, such as several works by well known Peoria painters Hedley Waycott and William Hardin are some of our featured works. Embellishing the art will be select artifacts which connect to the art on display. The next exhibit will open at the Peoria Public Library, Main Library Gallery March, 2020.

History Thru Art “REnnick” Art Show

The 56th Annual Rennick Art Show will be at the Peoria Riverfront Museum for the month of May. Artists are invited to enter art work connected to the history of Peoria. Opening Reception for the community and artists starts off the month long show.

The Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival

The Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival features over 120 vendors, food, and live music. The Historical Society opens the Pettengill-Morron House Museum for tours throughout the day and there is an upscale porch sale as well. The 40th annual Sale is June 13, 2020.

4th of July at Pettengill-Morron HOuse

The Moss Bradley Residential Association hosts a community gathering on the afternoon of July 4th. Come out from 12-2 for a Pops concert, ice cream, pony rides and bring a picnic. Cole beverages will be on the shady porch and tours will be available throughout the afternoon.

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 

The Peoria Chiefs become the Peoria Distillers every July at Dozer Park. Go back in time as we bring back the popular Peoria Distillers namesake each summer. The Jersey Auction supports the Peoria Historical Society. Come on out for a fun family night! 2020 dates will be available soon.

henri deTonti award celebration

Each year the Historical Society honors individuals who demonstrate outstanding community leadership. In September, 2019 we honored Jim Baldwin at the Hayden - Clark Alumni Center at Bradley University.

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. December 7th from 5-9 PM and December 8th from 1-5 PM.

Flanagan House

Open for Tours the first Sunday of the month from 1 - 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 - 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. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Peoria Historical Society.

 


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 -Revised!

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.


Art and Architecture (REnewed!) 

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.