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Welcome to Peru!

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Maud Powell Statue

Peru, Illinois is a great place to live, work and play. Located in western LaSalle County, Peru has a population of over 10,000 residents and is part of a small metropolitan area of 30,000. The city is located on the Illinois River, three miles west of the intersection of Interstates 39 and 80. The city is also near historic Illinois and Michigan (I & M) Canal, which also has a great running and biking trail. Starved Rock State Park is a regional tourist attraction located 5 miles southeast of the city, and Peru is home to the beautiful Illinois Valley YMCA, a large, modern fitness, aquatic and community center.

Peru History

The city was organized as a borough in 1838, and was officially incorporated as a city on March 13, 1851. The city is the birthplace and hometown of world renowned violinist, Maud Powell, whose father William Bramwell Powell was superintendent of Peru Public Schools. The city was also the world headquarters of Westclox company and is currently the headquarters for Maze Lumber and Maze Nails, founded in 1848. Peru also houses the offices of Carus Corporation, the largest manufacturer of potassium permanganate in the world today. The city also was home to James Barton, the inventor of the polygon mill.

Peru Today

In recent years, Peru has evolved into a regional commercial center, with a 25-store shopping mall, as well as several other national retailers. The area has also enjoyed the arrival of several small industrial and manufacturing firms. The completion of Interstate 39 in the early 1990s helped foster much of this new growth, making the city especially attractive to prospective distribution centers. There are many great restaurants in the city and the area, and Peru is a short drive from the Chicago metropolitan area.

Links to Area Resources

Far more information about the Illinois Valley area is available from any of the following links.

City of Peru

LaSalle County

Peru Public Library

LaSalle-Peru Township High School

Illinois Valley Community College

St. Bede Academy

Peru Catholic School

Stage 212

Maud Powell Society

Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra

I & M Canal Trail

Starved Rock State Park

Matthiessen State Park

Illinois Valley YMCA

Illinois Valley Regional Airport

Janko Realty

Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development

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Peru Elementary District 124 1800 Church Street Peru, IL  61354

Phone: 815-223-1111 FAX: 815-223-0490

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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