107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070


Celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial by exploring Peoria’s rich history with #PeoriaStoryChallenge. This program runs April 1 through May 31. All entries must be submitted to Peoria Public Library at programmingdept@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us by 6:00 p.m on Thursday, May 31 to qualify for the prize drawings. Downloadable rules, locations and trivia questions available at the bottom of the page.


Prize Categories:

Ages 18 and up:

1st Prize- Ancestry DNA Test Kit

2nd Prize-Peoria Historical Society tour tickets for two, for Peoria’s famous Flanagan House Museum and the Pettengill-Morron House.

Ages 17 and under:

All participants 17 and under will be entered into a prize drawing for an Instax Mini Camera

Challenge Rules:

(1) Visit five local historical sites or monuments listed below, taking a “selfie” or a photo of yourself at each site. For each five additional sites you visit you will earn an extra ticket to be entered into the prize drawing for your age category. 

(2) Answer our list of 20 trivia questions based on the sites listed below. This part is optional, but is fun, educational, and participation will entitle you to two more tickets entered into the prize drawing. You must complete rule number one to qualify for the two additional tickets. We won’t grade your answers, but we will have an answer sheet available if you are interested in learning the correct answer.

(3) Email your photos and trivia answers to us at programmingdept@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us. Title your email “Peoria Story Challenge,” and provide us with your name, age and phone number so we can contact you if you win a prize.

(4) Share your photos and fun facts you’ve learned with friends and family, or online with the hashtag #PeoriaStoryChallenge.


Please note: Peoria Public Library may share photos we receive on the Peoria Public Library website and related social media to promote this program.


Destinations (pick five):


  1. Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch  (1312 W. Lincoln Ave)
  2. Richard Pryor Statue (Corner of Southwest Washington St. and State St.)
  3. Peoria City Hall (419 Fulton St.)
  4. Peoria Riverfront
  5. Giant Oak Park (426 High St.)
  6. Triebel Lions (In front of Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park, not inside)
  7. Old Settlers Monument (Inside Peoria Zoo)
  8. Spanish-American War Cannon (at Glen Oak Park Lagoon)
  9. Pettengill-Morron House (1212 W. Moss Ave)
  10. Duryea Car (Inside Peoria Riverfront Museum, 222 SW Washington St.)
  11. Soldiers and Sailors Monument (at Courthouse Plaza, 324 Main St.)
  12. Grandview Drive
  13. World War I Monument (Grandview Drive)
  14. Tower Park (across Prospect from Grandview Drive entrance)
  15. Japanese Bridge (Bradley Park)
  16. 110 N.E. Water St.
  17. John C. Flanagan House (942 NE Glen Oak Ave.)
  18. Springdale Cemetery (3014 N Prospect Rd.)
  19. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (607 NE Madison)
  20. Bradley Hall (1501 W. Bradley Ave.)


#PeoriaStoryChallenge Trivia Questions (submit answers only):

  1. Dedicated on June 16, 1911, Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch was built following a $20,000 donation from famed industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Built in the neoclassical style, it is the oldest official branch of Peoria Public Library.

        What was the property used for from 1850-1890?

  1. A beer garden for German immigrants
  2. The original home of St. Francis Hospital
  3. A city cemetery


  1. Two imposing stone lions, crafted by German immigrant sculptor Otto Triebel in 1879, have stood outside the Peoria Zoo entrance for more than 50 years.


      Where did the lions originally reside?

  1. The old Peoria County Courthouse
  2. The Hofbrau
  3. The Pabst Brewing Company




  1. Considered one of the greatest comedians of his age, Richard Pryor was born in Peoria on December 1, 1940. His often tragic early life influenced his art, which included stand-up comedy, acting and directing.


       Richard Pryor’s statue, located at Washington and State streets, was created by:

  1. Frederick Triebel
  2. Preston Jackson
  3. Gary Sandburg


  1. Peoria’s historic city hall, with its stained-glass skylight, marble wainscoting and inspiring works of art, was dedicated on January 5, 1899. Built in the distinctive Flemish Renaissance style of Lake Superior red sandstone, the building stands at 419 Fulton Street-the former site of the Market House-a covered outdoor produce marketplace.


     What did local residents regret losing with the closure of the Market House?

  1. A gossip center
  2. The horseradish sauce
  3. Fresh, healthy green vegetables
  4. A and B


  1. Giant Oak Park, on Peoria’s historic High Street, is home of a massive bur oak, which reportedly stands 50 feet tall and has a spread of more than 100 feet.


     How old is the giant oak?

    a. One hundred to 300 years old

     b. Greater than 300 years old

     c. Less than 100 years old


  1. Now a Peoria Historical Society museum, the elegant Pettengill-Morron House, located at 1212 W. Moss Avenue, was the home of Moses Pettengill, an early Peoria settler and prosperous hardware store owner. When Pettengill arrived in Peoria from New Hampshire in 1833, Peoria was the home of 150 people, 30 log cabins and three frame houses.

         A staunch abolitionist and “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Pettengill was close friends with whom?

  1. Harriet Tubman
  2. Abraham Lincoln
  3. Frederick Douglass


  1. Located on the city’s east bluff and commanding a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley, the American Federal Style home built by John C. Flanagan in 1837 is Peoria’s oldest standing house. A Philadelphia lawyer, Flanagan came to Peoria to help settle his father’s 600 acre estate but decided to stay as a land developer and judge.

         Who lived in the home with Judge Flanagan?

  1. His wife, Hannah, and their three children
  2. A housekeeper of French and Native American descent
  3. His mother, Jane, and sisters, Letitia and Louisa

     8. The imposing 230 foot spires of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception have been a prominent feature        of the Peoria skyline since the church’s dedication in 1889. Built of limestone, the cathedral was dedicated by Peoria’s first           Roman Catholic bishop, John Lancaster Spalding. Boasting connections to the nation’s first televangelist, Archbishop Fulton          Sheen, and visited by Mother Teresa, the church completed a major renovation in 2016.

      What is the architectural style of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception?

  1. Gothic Revival
  2. Flemish Renaissance
  3. Romanesque


  1. More than 25,000 stones were used to create the city’s Old Settler’s Monument, located in the Peoria Zoo at Glen Oak Park. Donated by long-time county residents, the stones were formed to create an impressive 27-feet high tower, which was dedicated on August 26, 1931.

         An eighteen-inch box was placed in the monument containing:

  1. Histories of the County Farm Bureau and telephone companies
  2. Civil War and World War 1 memorabilia
  3. Heirloom seeds and grains


  1. The 1,275 pound cannon that guards the Glen Oak Lagoon in Glen Oak Park was a trophy of the Spanish-American War. Created in 1845 in Seville, Spain, the cannon has been a Peoria landmark since its dedication in 1899.

          The cannon was manufactured from:

  1. Lightweight, recast bronze
  2. A mixture of iron and tungsten
  3. A formula lost to history

 11. Now on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the three-wheeled Duryea Motor Trap was created in 1898 by Charles         Duryea in a barn behind his home on Barker Street.

Who said, “The Duryea car was a masterpiece. It did more to start the automobile industry than any other car ever made.”?

  1. Charles Duryea
  2. Henry Ford
  3. Harvey Firestone


  1. President William McKinley and a crowd of 70,000 were on hand for the 1899 dedication of Peoria’s revered landmark, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, located outside the Peoria County Courthouse. Created by famed Peoria sculptor Frederick “Fritz” Triebel, the 60-feet tall stone column of bronze figures pays tribute to the soldiers and sailors of the American Civil War.

       The monument is located near the site where:

  1. Historic Peoria figure Henri de Tonti erected a meeting house
  2. Alexander Hamilton’s son, William, stayed while laying out Peoria’s streets
  3. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated on Oct. 16,1854


  1. With spectacular views of the Illinois River Valley and some of the area’s most unique and historic homes, the 2.52 mile Grandview Drive in Peoria and Peoria Heights was constructed in 1903. It is the only linear park on the National Historic Register.

           During a 1910 visit, President Theodore Roosevelt declared:


  1.  “Egads, this road is rough!”
  2. “This is the world’s most beautiful drive.”
  3. “I have never seen a more verdant valley.”


  1. The 25-foot-tall memorial at the southern base of Grandview Drive is simply called the World War Soldiers and Sailors of Averyville monument. Averyville was annexed by Peoria in 1926.

     The monument is made of:


b.White Limestone

c. Terra Cotta


  1. Tower Park in Peoria Heights offers one of the best ways to view the Peoria area and the Illinois River Valley: the Peoria Heights Observation Tower. A water tower, it also features a glass elevator and three observation decks, offering panoramic views of the area.

        What is located on the side of the tower?


  1. A jazz-themed mural
  2. A 300-pound, 6-foot-tall woodpecker carved from a large, red cedar stump
  3.  A “Welcome to Peoria Heights” sign


  1. The lovely Japanese Bridge in lower Bradley Park connected the Japanese Garden and playground area. Designed by the self-taught, but highly talented architect Frederick John Klein, the bridge has been a Peoria landmark since its completion in 1922.

       The bridge spans:

  1. Dry Gulch Creek
  2. Bradley Creek
  3. Dry Run Creek


  1. Chartered in 1855, historic Springdale Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 70 thousand individuals. With massive trees, beautiful stone monuments and six miles of winding drives, the cemetery has been called a “multi-generational who’s who of Peoria.”


Who is buried at Springdale Cemetery?


  1. Bradley University founder Lydia Moss Bradley and family
  2. Illinois Governor Thomas Ford
  3. The parents of ground-breaking feminist Betty Friedan
  4. Boomer, the Peoria Zoo lion
  5. All of the above


  1. Stately Bradley Hall was one of the original buildings constructed for Bradley University and bears the name of its founder, Lydia Moss Bradley. A wealthy widow whose six children died as youths, Bradley wanted the school to offer young people practical training and preparation for the modern world.

      Bradley University was originally named:

  1. Bradley Polytechnic Institute
  2. Bradley School of Horology
  3. The Laura Bradley Institute


  1. In the mid to late 1800s, before the railroad transportation overtook waterway traffic, Mississippi steamboats and barges ran up the Illinois River to stops such as Peoria and LaSalle, transporting freight such as pork and ice from Illinois to markets in St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. The first known steamboat to reach the Port of Peoria was the steamboat Liberty in 1829. Peoria’s location along the river made it a prime location for industry and tourism to grow. The stretch of river by Peoria is the site of the worst maritime accident in Illinois River History.


       What is the worst maritime accident in the history of the Illinois River?

  1. The Moselle steamboat explosion
  2. The wreck of the Columbia
  3. The Sultana steamboat explosion


  1. The “Powell Press Building” at 110 N.E.  Water Street, constructed in 1852, is the oldest commercial building in Peoria. The site has served numerous purposes over the years, including a saloon and ice cream parlor, print house and riverfront visitor’s center, to name a few.

       Who was the original owner of the Powell Press Building?

  1. Charles H. Powell
  2. John Schwab
  3. Almiran S. Cole







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