Saturday, October 12, 2013

Society Saturday - Learning the History of Peoria

Our lunchtime speaker at Illinois Heritage Weekend was Mark L. Johnson from the Peoria Historical Society.  His talk was entitled "Top 20 Events in the History of Peoria".  Due to time constraints, he really just hit on the highlights.

We learned a lot about the History of this central Illinois city.  Some of the highlights include:
  • Peoria lies on Lake Pimiteoui which means "fat lake" because of its abundant wildlife
  • The site was originally "discovered" by explorers Marquette and Jolliet in 1673 who claimed it for the French.
  • Three forts were built in this area:  Fort Crevecour in 1680, Fort Saint Louis in 1691 and Fort Clark in 1813.
  • Peoria has been under French, British and American control.
  • The area has been in Virginia territory, Northwest territory, Indiana territory and Illinois territory
  • There were several skirmishes between Americans and Indians during the War of 1812 in and around the area
  • Peoria was incorporated as a town in 1835.
It is always interested to learn a little of the local history and how it ties into the history of our nation.

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