Historic monument will be revived in Peoria - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Historic monument will be revived in Peoria

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The historic Springdale Cemetery will be getting a monument erected soon.   

Local historians called The Shaft the state's oldest  war monument.   It was originally dedicated in downtown Peoria at the courthouse in October of 1866.  But now it's getting a new location. 
The monument was taken down after 96 years to make room for the current courthouse.    Historians said parts of the monument were lost or forgotten.  Now there are plans to restore it.  

"It really is a thing of spreading the word and what we're finding is people are so excited about hearing the incredible shaft story," said Springdale Cemetery Supporter Bruce Brown.   
Over the past two years Brown and other cemetery supporters  recovered seven pieces of the monument at the Detweiller Marina.    Three pieces have to be replaced.   Several groups have come together to raise $60,000 dollars  to restore and erect it at Springdale Cemetery.  

"This was the first civil war monument in the state of Illinois, that makes it incredibly important historically.   But I think it's also important because it belongs here in Springdale Cemetery, said former Peoria City Council woman Gale Thetford."

Supporters are hoping to get grants.   During a news conference Tuesday the Springdale Historic Preservation Foundation announced it approved  $10,000. dollars.   Another supporter said he thinks it will draw tourists to the cemetery. 

"There are an awful lot of people that actually remember it in person.  so I think the number of people that will come and see it will be tremendous and i think they will have that sense of pride in Peoria," said Cemetery supporter Bob Hoffer. 

The group has not yet set a timetable for restoring the monument.   They need to raise half of the $60,000. dollars first.    If you would like to donate to the monument restoration project log onto the website w-w-w-dot-Restore-the-Shaft-dot-org. 


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