Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peoria Mineral Springs

Ever since I saw the Peoria Mineral Springs featured on the Name This Peoria Landmark web site, I've been dying to visit the site in Peoria, Illinois' West Bluff. I hadn't even been aware of it's existence before then.
Saturday we got out our handheld GPS and went to check it out.

The first thing we came across was the stately brick home perched on the hillside with a plaque between two of the windows reading "Peoria Mineral Springs Soda and Ginger Ale".
The site was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1982.
The house was built by Zealy Moss.

A bit past the historic house, we came to a short stone stairway leading up the side of the wooded hill. The stairs soon petered out, and with leaves covering the loose stones scattered along the hill, we had a little trouble making our way up.
Either someone maintains this area, or maybe the rumors of hauntings keep people from hanging out here, because I was surprised to find virtually no litter once we left the sidewalk.

Shortly we came to a brick archway capped by a wooden door that has been chained closed.
The little arched doorway in the woods reminded me of something from a fairy tale. Putting my ear to the gap in the door, I could hear the water flowing freely in the tunnel.

Nearby lies a marker topped with a plaque stating "Peoria Mineral Springs has been in existence some 14,500 years and is this area’s last link with prehistoric water sources. Located on Peoria’s historic West Bluff, the springs were the primary source for the first water supply for the City of Peoria. Governor Thomas Ford granted a charter February 20, 1843 for the establishment of this water supply. A reservoir was then built to contain the springs and pipers were laid to carry the water approximately two miles. At this time, Zealy Moss, Revolutionary War soldier, prominent citizen and owner of the property, built a home for himself on the property. The springs are still free flowing today.

This plaque placed by
Illinois State Organization
of the
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Mrs. Albert Triebel, Jr., State Regent
This Sixteenth day of March
Nineteen-Hundred Eighty-Three"

It's intriguing to me to realize that sites like this exist, seemingly almost forgotten in Peoria. Heck, I drive within a couple of blocks of this site about once a week, and didn't even know it was there.
Upon doing some research when I got home, I also found that the site is said to be haunted. According to ghostsofamerica.com I found "The spirit of an awfully scorched woman is repeatedly observed obliterating a bag at Peoria Mineral Springs at midnight".
I also found this report that "A large chilling ghost was made out beside Peoria Mineral Springs late at night downing blood from a beaker. This ghost is fantastically active in this area; there have been a few other sightings of this specific ghost. Anyhow, it's a scary ghost that you wouldn't want to bump into late at night".
I didn't pick up any haunted vibes while I was there, but certainly found it to be a neat peek into Peoria's past.

Peoria Mineral Springs
701 W. 7th Avenue
Peoria, IL 61605

1 comment:

Kate said...
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