Because its traditional bus tours cannot be offered this year, the Peoria Historical Society is offering walking tours with certified PHS guides sharing stories and information with small groups. The series began in July with tours of downtown Peoria’s former theater district and Soldier’s Hill and Mt. Repose at Springdale Cemetery. This month’s tours include:
- August 8 – Springdale Cemetery Drive-Around. Caravan with guide Bernie Drake to seven different areas of the cemetery, providing a great overview of not just the cemetery but of Peoria. The tour also includes the beautiful mausoleum, which is usually not open to the public.
- August 15 – Randolph-Roanoke Historic District Walking Tour. Enjoy a walk through the city’s first Historic District with guide Connie Tomczyk to admire the city’s largest collection of Victorian homes and hear fascinating stories of their former residents.
- August 22 – Springdale Cemetery Drive-Around, Part 2. Follow guide Linda Aylward in your own car; your walking tour begins in the Middle Valley. Listen to tales of prospecting for gold in the Yukon, prison escapes during the Civil War, the capture of the Demon of the Wabash, Peoria’s most unusual travel souvenir from Egypt, and more.
- August 28 – Downtown Walking Tour. Join Bernie Drake for an engaging tour beginning at the Spirit of Peoria landing. Learn about previous courthouse buildings on the square; explore the Korean War Memorial and Soldiers & Sailors Monument; and discover the architecture and history of the GAR Hall.
Guests should feel comfortable walking up to 1½ miles and standing up to 20 minutes. Tours will go rain or shine, but in the event of severe weather, they may be cut short to ensure the safety of guests. Register online at 309tix.com. PM