Above: Looking down from the tower in Peoria Heights, 1973. Courtesy C. Richard Neumiller Collection
- A 1907 ghost sighting (debunked some two decades later);
- The famous words of Teddy Roosevelt and their inspiration for WMBD’s call letters; and
- Grandview’s old observation tower, razed in 1942 for the war effort (although that never actually happened).
What follows are some related scraps of documents and photos that we uncovered along the way, courtesy of the Peoria Public Library Local History Collection. First, a great summary of WMBD history (on the occasion of their 45th anniversary) via Al Aspell in The Penny Press, March 2, 1972:
Fun fact: When WMBD was granted its broadcasting license by the Commerce Department in 1927, the Commerce Secretary was none other than future president Herbert Hoover.
Another view of the Kahler home. The garage held the transmitter and generator (which Enos Kahler built himself); and the radio tower was in the backyard:
News coverage of Teddy Roosevelt's 1910 visit to Peoria:
Finally, here's another photo of the old observation tower on Grandview Drive, constructed in 1905 near the intersection of Grandview and Glen as a lookout for forest fires.
Says Peoria historian Norm Kelly: "As kids, we thought it was a great place to spit from, and believe me, most kids did."
Submitted by jwright on