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What's The Story

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Illinois State Historical Society

The city of Peoria was named for the Peoria tribe of the Iliniwek Indian Confederacy who once lived here. It was in 1673 that Jacques Marquette and the explorer Louis Jolliet traveled through the widened portion of the Illinois River know as Lake Peoria, on which the city is situated. Robert Cavalier, Sieur De La Salle, built Fort Creve Coeur on the bluffs across the river from the present Peoria site in 1680, assisted by Henri Tonti. Because of Indian attacks, the Fort was abandoned later that year. In 1691, Tonti returned to the area and along with Francois De La Forest built Fort St. Louis on the banks where the river narrows, just south of Lake Peoria.

Militia units from Illinois and Missouri erected Fort Clark in 1813, in the area that is now downtown Peoria…

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