They left their native lands in search of work, religious and political freedom, and a better life for their families. Drawn by industry, land and the promise of community, they found their way to Central Illinois. Bringing little other than their cultural traditions and values, they embraced this land of opportunity and helped shape a new society. They are the major immigrant groups who became THE NEW PEORIANS.
The river valley and beautiful bluffs reminded them of their native lands, but when THE GERMANS settled in Peoria, it was to fully embrace their new lives as Americans. They prospered through their art of brewing beer, establishing breweries and distilleries that served the nation. They built their new home through commerce and industry, creating landmarks and businesses that are still around today. And they shaped a community through their traditions of family, society, and public service. Learn the story of Peoria’s largest immigrant population through the remembrances of their descendants, including interviews with Harry Puterbaugh, Joe Trefzger, and Angela Blasek.
Production of THE NEW PEORIANS was made possible in part by David and Sharyn Joseph with support from the WTVP Klystron Society.