Showing 1-48 of 48 items found in History
Caterpillar Visitor's Center
Opened in October 2012, this new visitor's center celebrates the long history of the Caterpillar Company. Visitors can explore the past by taking a journey back in time via historic photos and antique equipment. Visitor favorites include a 24-foot tall 797 mining truck that doubles as a movie theater and a product floor complete with simulators to explore its world-famous product line.
Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
The Funk family business of producing pure maple sirup began in Funk's Grove in 1824, and business has been going strong ever since. Guided tours of the grounds are offered during the sirup-making season that showcase the Funk family process. Tours for groups of up to 30 must be arranged in advance and depend upon weather conditions. Funk's Pure Maple Sirup can be purchased at the store, along with Route 66 memorabilia and other Funk's products.
Peoria Riverfront Museum
Opened in October 2012, this brand new 80,000 square-foot building is a world-class facility located on Peoria’s downtown riverfront. The museum features a 3D giant screen theater and digital planetarium, as well as history, science, art and achievement exhibits for all ages.
McLean County Museum of History
Founded in 1904, the museum is housed in a magnificent courthouse that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in downtown Bloomington, the museum reveals the lives of the people who shaped McLean County, including those who encountered and knew Abraham Lincoln.
Miller Park Zoo
Opened in the late 1800's, this city zoo began to house exotic animals after a traveling circus left behind a lion cub. Located on Historic Route 66 the zoo became a popular attraction among travelers. It is also the only Illinois zoo to feature the endangered Sumatran tiger. They offer many exhibits and zookeeper interaction opportunities that are enjoyed by the whole family. Some highlights include: sun bear, reindeer, Harbor Seals, red pandas, lemurs, Galapagos Tortoise, Bald Eagles, Pallas' Cat, Snow Leopards, gibbons, and Red Wolves. The Zoo features many large indoor and outdoor exhibits such as a Tropical America Rainforest, ZooLab, Katthoefer Animal Building, Wallaby WalkAbout, Children's Zoo, and Animals of Asia.
Spirits of Bloomington Historic Ghost Tours
The Spirits of Bloomington Historic Ghost Tours feature guides dressed as President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln who reveal fascinating tales, myths and paranormal accounts of McLean County.
Ewing Cultural Center
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
Shoppes at Grand Prairie
The Shoppes at Grand Prairie ~ a vibrant, open-air lifestyle center in Peoria ~ is the premier dining and shopping destination for the region. The Shoppes features an exciting blend of retailers and restaurants, along with our anchor stores: Bergner's, DSW, Jillian's and Dick's Sporting Goods. The center is highlighted by an inviting, lushly landscaped outdoor environment that features animal sculptures throughout the center, the nationally acclaimed Holocaust Memorial Button exhibit filled with 11 million buttons, the Caterpillar children's play area, and weekend entertainment.
Formerly known as the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane. Come take a tour and hear stories of the history of the hospital, employees and the inmates. See how this nationally recognized historic
An elegantly appointed venue along Peoria’s Riverfront, the Gateway offers the finest surroundings for your next business or social function. Constructed in 1997, this beautiful building was designed and created to be the focal point of Peoria's Riverfront. The Gateway is conveniently located downtown just one block from Interstate 74 and is within walking distance of hotels, major businesses, and many restaurants. The Riverfront provides a spectacular backdrop with its stunning views and the vibrant nightlife offers a unique and festive atmosphere. This is an affordable, convenient site for any meeting, banquet, or conference occasion. With the comfort and versatility the Gateway offers, you will want to make this the new home for your annual banquets and weekly meetings.
Children's Discovery Museum
Come experience three floors of unique, hands-on, larger-than-life exhibits! This museum is designed to create a sense of wonder that excites the love of learning in children of all ages. Be sure to discover the new Children's Discovery Museum.
The McLean County Courthouse, capped by a stately dome, serves as a landmark to identify the historic core of the city. Turn-of-the century buildings, many with interesting historical pasts, flank the courthouse square. A visitor can find museums, banks, a legal and governmental center, residential living, a large artists' community, plus an assortment of specialty retail businesses and supportive services in Downtown Bloomington. There is an abundance of restaurants and a lively night scene. Discover all that downtown Bloomington has to offer by shopping, dining, working and playing in this great historical district!
Pettengill - Morron House Museum
An 1868 Victorian mansion in the historic Moss-High District. The museum houses decorative arts, fine textiles, antique furniture and silver collections.
Funk Prairie Home Gem & Mineral Museum
Located at the Funk Prairie Home, this museum houses the largest single-owner display of rare gems, minerals, fossils and lapidary art in the state. Also view the agriculture exhibit, along with several antique sleighs and carriages.
Ronald Reagan Trail
A self-guided driving tour that celebrates the hometown values and heritage of our 40th President.
Dixie Truckers Home
Established in 1928 at the intersection of U.S. Route 66 and Route 136 in McLean, Illinois, Dixie Truckers Home is the oldest truck stop in America. It is still in operation today and although it has been restored after a fire in 1965 the original signs are still in place.
Prairie Aviation Museum
Prairie Aviation Museum has displays, static aircraft, education programs, air shows, group tours, and special aviation events for over 30 years. As an aviation and space museum, we honor military and civilian aviation. While visitors are quick to notice our displays, we love to tell the stories of the men and women who have contributed to the creation, development, expansion, and promise of aviation and space exploration. We are a family friendly museum, where visitors of all ages can touch our displays and static aircraft and visit with members who flew and maintained the aircraft in the Air Park. We love to hear visitor’s stories about experiences that they and/or members of their family have had related to aviation and space.
Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
Peoria's cultural hub featuring art exhibitions, artist studios, art instruction, comedy improv, poetry nights, yoga and tai chi classes, and jazz and blues performances. The Contemporary Art Center exhibits the work of living artists at the forefront of their fields. About 20 resident artists are constantly creating art on-site, and prolific artist and co-founder Preston Jackson continues to maintain his sculpture and painting studio. The Contemporary Arts Center is also a great choice for your next event from club meetings to wedding receptions. The beautiful facility offers a meeting space of nearly 3,000 square feet, tables, chairs, a full kitchen, a stage with lighting and sound system, restroom facilities, plenty of parking space and lots more. The wheelchair accessible facility is located on Peoria’s RiverFront on the 2nd floor of the building in an old warehouse with original exposed red brick and wood floors. Your guests can enjoy the art exhibit during your event as well. You may use any caterer you wish or cater the event yourself.
Sprague’s Super Service in Normal
A Tudor revival building constructed in 1931 by William Sprague to house a service station, restaurant and garage, it is the largest of three remaining two-story fuel station buildings on US 66, originally housing a café and service station on the main floor plus two second-floor apartments for the owner and the station attendant.
State Farm Insurance Tour
State Farm is Bloomington-Normal's largest employer and the nation's largest insurance company. Tours are offered at the Corporate Building on State Farm Plaza and the historic Fire Building.
Ronald Reagan Museum and Peace Garden
Housed in the Donald B. Cerf Center at Eureka College, the museum collection numbers over 10,000 items from President Reagan's Eureka College student days, his movie and TV career, his governorship of California and two terms as president of the United States. The Reagan Peace Garden located on the historic campus includes a bust of the 40th president and a section of the Berlin Wall.
Relive your childhood memories or visit and make new ones at Central Illinois' original old fashioned candy store and soda fountain. Featuring a huge selection of bulk, individual, and many hard to find candies, gourmet chocolates, and a full service soda fountain. Hollands also recently added a full line of unique toys, including Klutz, Melissa and Doug, Manhattan Toy, Schliech, learning resources, and many, many hard to find toys from your childhood.
Miller Park Pavilion
This unique landmark was restored in 1977, with its Korean/Vietnam War Memorial dedicated in May of 1988.
Visit our enchanting store and each time you visit you will discover a whole new array of gifts and home accessories. We not only specialize in unique gift ware, but we also create custom floral arrangements and can come to your home to help accessorize.
When looking for the perfect personal gift, adding to someone's collection or decorating your home. Sentimental Journey should be the place to shop. They carry a large selection of Vera Bradley, Isabel Bloom, Crabtree & Evelyn, Jewery, New Baby, Inspirtational and Specialty Occasion gifts, along with Wee Forest Folk, Dept 56 and Byers' Choice Carolers. Sentimental Journey also offers a large selection of pictures, decorating and home accessories to help you make your house a home!
Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center
Mennonite museum, archives, historical and genealogical library, farm museum, restored barn, and grandfather house. Surrounded by native Illinois trees, prairie grasses, and flowers. Please call for a guided tour.
Stevenson Graves/Evergreen Cemetery
The Stevenson family brought honor to McLean County for three generations. Buried at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery are Adlai I, Vice President to Grover Cleveland, and Adlai II, Governor of Illinois, Ambassador to the United Nations and twice Democratic candidate for the United States Presidency. Also buried here are Adlai's wife, Letitia Green Stevenson, and many other important figures from Bloomington- Normal history. A discovery walk takes place here annually to celebrate the lives of these historical figures.
Carriage Classics, Ltd.
This horse-drawn carriage service is available for scenic tours, weddings and other occasions. Equipped for all seasons. Evening rides in downtown Peoria Fridays and Saturdays during April through mid-October. Thursday through Saturday rides during June through August. Pick-up points at Hotel Pere Marquette and The Landing. $20 for two adults and $5 for each additional person. Children under 10 ride free. Carriage rides available 7 p.m. through midnight. May be hired any time of the year for service in the Peoria and surrounding area. We also have a horse-drawn trolley available for special groups outings. Call for details!!!
Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College offers interactive, simulated space and science experiences through scheduled team missions for students and the public.
John C. Flanagan House Museum
The John C. Flanagan House Museum was built in 1837 on Peoria’s east bluff by John C. Flanagan and is the oldest standing house in Peoria. This American Federal style house offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley.
Built in 1845, this building served as the center of county government until the county seat was moved to Eureka in 1896. It is one of the two surviving courthouses on the historic 8th Judicial Circuit traveled by Abraham Lincoln. The Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site is open Tuesday thru Saturday, 1-5pm March through October and noon to 4pm November through February. It is also open by appointment and for most events on the Metamora Square. The courthouse is available for weddings, meetings and other private events.
Bradley University is an independent, privately endowed, coeducational institution. With an enrollment of approximately 6,000 students, Bradley University is the ideal size for living and learning. The University offers a full range of baccalaureate and graduate level programs as well as personal attention, from a faculty dedicated to student learning.
Founded in 1855 by abolitionists, this historic and scenic campus boasts buildings on the historic register, including the Reagan Peace Garden and Museum.
Illinois Central College
Offers a variety of speakers specializing in a diverse field of topics for nonprofit organizations. Campus tours available. Professional Development Institute offers seminars and workshops in the areas of computers, health, management and special interests (can be customized).
Peoria Historical Society
Our mission is to preserve and celebrate Peoria's story. We own two historic house museums and provide certified guides for the History Trolley and other tours. The focus has changed and evolved through the years, but our commitment to preservation remains strong. programs are offered for both local residents and out-of-town visitors. We seek to entertain the eye and stimulate the mind as well as support historical scholarship and collaborate with other preservation organizations. We look to the future with a vision to be the resource and advocate for historical preservation and research on the Peoria area, its organizations and its people. As a collaborative partner of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, we are pleased to have the opportunity to display some of the Society's artifacts and present the history of the Peoria area in the museum.
Chillicothe Historical Society
Don't know much about history? Come see what Chillicothe Historical Society and its museums have to offer! Whether your roots are local or you simply enjoy the lifelong learning experience of discovering our common heritage, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you step in!
Beningo's was established in the early 1970s, the tradition goes on four generations, specializing in homemade dishes from scratch for your dining pleasure. Among restaurants in Bloomington, let Beningo's take the worry and stress out of your busy schedule by simply ordering our famous lasagna, or choose from our wide variety of authentic entrees that are sure to make your family dinner or party unique and delicious, but most importantly, enjoyable! Click through our website to view our menu, read about our history, and learn more about one of the most respected and beloved dining establishments and restaurants in Bloomington IL and in Central Illinois. Come by Beningo's today to try our signature "sweet Sicilian" sauce, true to our Sicilian heritage.
Metamora Court House Museum
The Metamora Courthouse was built in 1845 and served as the center of county government until the county seat was moved to Eureka in 1896. It is one of two surviving courthouses on the historic Eighth Judicial Circuit traveled by Abraham Lincoln. In 1978 the Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The first floor of the two-story brick structure contains a central hall flanked by two exhibit rooms, one displaying artifacts of early local history, the other with exhibits describing the 1850s court system and Lincoln's life on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. On the second floor, the former courtroom and two small chambers are furnished to represent the era during which Lincoln practiced law.
Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
The Lucca Grill was established in 1936 by brothers Fred and John Baldini and was named for their hometown of Lucca, Italy. Located on Historic Route 66, customers enjoy the delicious thin-crust pizza as much as they appreciate the ornate tin ceiling and antique mahogany bar.
Behind the Curtain Tour - Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
The fascinating history of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts comes to life in the Behind the Curtain historic tour program. Led by a group of specially trained docents, you'll not only see the beautiful neo-Classical interior design of the BCPA, but also learn all about the many technical and patron service updates achieved in the building's significant renovation. You won't want to miss this surprising, fascinating, and fun-filled look at one of Bloomington's historic and most thriving buildings. Bring your stories, your questions, and, above all, your curiosity. Behind the Curtain tours are one hour in length and can accommodate a wide variety of group sizes.
Historic Normal Theater
Located in Uptown Normal, the Normal Theater originally opened in 1937 and was the first movie theater in Bloomington-Normal built specifically for sound films. An Art Deco showplace built with streamline design, the Normal Theater has been completely restored to its original condition. It now operates as a film center, showing classic films on the big screen as well as independent and world cinema titles. In addition, the theater is used for a wide variety of non-film events and is available for rentals where assembly seating is required.
David Foster Wallace Tour
A self guided tour of places in Bloomington-Normal was developed with a map and description of the sites to explore the life of David Foster Wallace who was an American author of novels, short stories and essays, as well as a professor of English and creative writing. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Infinite Jest was completed while Wallace was living in Bloomington and employed in the Illinois State University English Department. In 2013, Illinois State created an annual David Foster Wallace Conference to celebrate his life and review his works.
American taphouse serving flatbreads, burgers & pasta. Located in Downtown Bloomington in Abraham Lincoln's former law office.
Looking for Lincoln Audio Tour
This CD-based audio tour presents President Lincoln as a returning visitor, talking about the places he visited and their meaning to him. Whether you drive the route or enjoy the tour from your favorite armchair, the audio tour is a special and novel way to learn about the history of Lincoln and the role Bloomington-Normal played in his life. The CD can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History
Beer Nuts Company Store - Plant
Bloomington, Illinois is the only city in the world where beer nuts are made! A video presentation on the making of beer nuts can be viewed in the gift shop, and nuts are available to sample in the Company Store.
Parkview Food and Pub
This locally-owned pub traces its roots back to 1928. Its scenic location across from Miller Park, Forrest Park and on Historic Route 66 makes this restaurant a popular stop for Route 66 travelers. They offer a variety of food specials, drink specials, video gaming, and lottery. Plus you can watch the game on the big screens. Stop by and try some delicious broasted chicken, walleye, burger's and more!