History

Central Illinois residents have been visiting Rocky Glen for years. As the Friends of Rocky Glen have led monthly hikes since December 2010 to the site, many stories have surfaced of how people have been coming there for years.  As noted in Monica Vest Wheeler’s book about the history of the Peoria Park District, Rocky Glen used to be known as the place to go.  Students used to visit from Manual High School.  Boy scout troops used to hike regularly.  Individuals have come from surrounding areas as a place to recreate.  The Friends of Rocky Glen formed in late 2010 to help preserve Rocky Glen’s assets in geography, flora, fauna, history of immigrants, and the social fabric that all come together into a very special place.  Through a consolidated effort from the board of directors, membership base, and the many supporters, a great amount of attention was centered on preserving Rocky Glen.

A public hearing was held at Peoria City Hall on November 21,2012 to hear public opinion on whether or not the Peoria City Council should use certain federal land acquisition funds to purchase the property.  With the support of Senator Dave Koehler and State Representative Jehan Gordan, the Friends of Rocky Glen were above to convince the Peoria City Council who voted to make the purchase on December 11th, 2012.

Media Links from recent history of Rocky Glen:

Rocky Glen’s Storied HistoryAn article with the owners of Rocky Glen, Mary & Jim Connaughton, by Elaine Hopkins.

Books – Rocky Glen has appeared in published books including Horse Shoe Bottoms by Tom Tippett and edited by Bill Knight

Newspaper Articles – Through the years, Rocky Glen has been in the news in local papers.

Historical Photo Gallery – Check out some wonderful photos from Rocky Glen’s past.
Labor History in Central Illinois– An old coal mining operation used to reside in the canyon in Rocky Glen.
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