The Splendor of Christmas Past

Final_HistoricTour_FlyerRevel in the splendor of holidays past with a tour of five vintage homes in two distinctive historic districts of Peoria, Illinois. Carolers, luminaries, dazzling Christmas décor, and costumed WWII reenactors capture and celebrate the Christmas spirit with the Peoria Historical Society.

 Tour Dates

  • December 7th  5 – 9 p.m.
  • December 8th 1 – 5 p.m.

Featured Homes

Flanagan House at 942 NE Glen Oak Avenue

The John C. Flanagan House was built in 1837 and is the oldest standing house in Peoria. This American
Federalist style house offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley. John, a Philadelphia lawyer, came to settle his father’s estate of 600 acres, acquired in 1824. He decided to build and become a land developer. Native Americans assisted in the construction of the home. A sawmill and brick kiln were also built on the property. The Society acquired the house in 1962 and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Displays include: Empire furnishings and period artifacts, 18th and 19th century area history, Peoria’s distillery industry, collections of antique glass, china, furniture, toys, quilts, and vintage clothing. House decor and costumed interpreters will portray a WWII era Christmas theme dedicated to our service women and men – “If Only in your Dreams.”

Sherry Seckler Home at 924 NE Glen Oak Avenue

Built in 1880 by a Congregational pastor, the home was later enlarged by N.C. Dougherty (Peoria superintendent of schools later jailed for embezzlement) into the current larger configuration. The Today relatively few surviving examples of the style exist compared to other more popular styles of Victorian architecture.

Stick-Eastlake is a style named for Charles Eastlake often referred to as Victorian Stick. The Stick-Eastlake style enjoyed popularity in the late 19th century. Over the years most of the exterior Stick-Eastlake features were removed. The main floor architecture is the Arts and Crafts Style popular when Doughtery remodeled. Behind the home and inaccessible to the public is the original carriage house.

With a spectacular Illinois River view, Sherry Seckler has owned the home for 8 years and is currently restoring the home to its former grandeur. The exterior is currently being repainted to accentuate the architecture with plans to replace and enlarge the front porch in the future. Several bedrooms have recently been refurbished with plans to stabilize the upper porch and restore the sitting room that it adjoins. Enjoy a work in progress during the multi-year transformation.

Pettengill-Morron House at 1212 W Moss Avenue

Celebrate a post-WWII Christmas holiday with Miss Jean Morron at The Pettengill-Morron House. Built by Moses Pettengill in 1868 in the Second Empire architectural style with 11 rooms, the museum contains a unique collection of possessions from several generations of a Peoria family. In 1900 a colonial revival porch and porte-cochere were added, giving the home a grand Victorian appearance. Miss Morron acquired the property from the John Boyd Stone family in 1953 and owned the house until her death in 1966. After her death the house and its contents were given to the Peoria
Historical Society.

John and Barb Timerman at 1537 W Moss Avenue

The Timerman home was originally built between 1883 and 1887 as a single story, white clapboard Victorian (see black and white picture below) similar to the current home at 1539. In 1916 or 1917, the owners, Dr. Adolph and Johanna Foertner remodeled it into the current brick, two-story home on the tour today. It features a beautifully maintained Arts and Crafts interior with most of the original woodwork and floors, all in superb condition.

In 1950 William and Beverly Chapman, owners of The Faust Club (Peoria nightclub) added the swimming pool in order to relax after their 4:00 A.M. closing time. They also removed the original radiators and installed the present heating system. The home was sold in 1962 to the Frasco family and again sold in 1966 to Robert and Marie Calvetti. After the Calvetti lives were threatened, the first alarm system was installed. Sometime after that, they moved and left the home vacant.

Hugo and Doris Hoerdeman purchased the home in 1969 and moved in with their four children. Their care and attention for 32 years has left the home in excellent condition. John and Barb Timerman purchased the home in 2001 and had little remodeling left to do. The TV room floor was replaced in 2002 and the downstairs bathroom was remodeled in 2003. The kitchen was updated recently. John and Barb welcome you to their beautiful Arts and Crafts style home and hope you enjoy your tour.

Richard Tomic at 1605 W Moss Avenue

Built in 1910 by architects Reeves and Ballie for Thomas and Gladys Corning Lovelace, the Cape Cod style home has fabulous birch floors instead of the traditional oak floors used at the time, the original stained glass windows with the decorative “L” for Lovelace on the landing, beautiful leaded glass doors and restored woodwork throughout the home.

The Corning and Lovelace families were prominent Peorians affiliated with Corning Distilling Company, Commercial National Bank, Bradley University, and Allied Mills. Lovelace Hall at Bradley University was name after the family. Restoration of the home began in 2003 and continues today.

Event Info

$12 in advance, $15 at the door

Tickets available November 1 at Harp & Thistle Kelleher’s Irish Pub & Eatery or at the Society’s Office

For more information: 309.674.1921 or