Peru is a city in LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The population was 9,835 at the 2000 census. Located on the Illinois River, Peru lies 3 miles west of the intersection of two major interstate highways: Interstate 39 and Interstate 80. The city is also near the western terminus of the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal. Starved Rock State Park, a regional tourist attraction, is located 5 miles south-east of the community. Peru has a twin city on its eastern edge, LaSal
The city's first settler was John Hays, who arrived in 1830. The town became a successful river port, but, with the construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, it was soon eclipsed by La Salle. After the closing of the Illinois & Michigan canal, Peru regained status as a port. 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, who was born on 1112 Bluff Street, where the 251 bridge currently stands. The city was home to Turn Hall, which was the location of Maud Powell's first performance. The city was also the world headquarters of Westclox clock company which closed in the early 1980's. The city is also the headquarters for Maze Lumber and Maze Nails - founded in 1848. The city was also home to Star Union Brewery, which closed in 1963.
In the 1980's Peru began its rise as a commercial center when the Peru Mall located on the new Rt. 251 between the North edge of Peru and Rt. 80. Today Peru is the most popular shopping area in north central Illinois. The 1980's also saw the building of the Illinois Valley Community Airport at the northern edge of Peru which helped attract new manufacturing facilities such as James Hardie, Unitite, and Eakas Corp..
Plentiful parks, good schools and a new YMCA make Peru a good place to raise a family.
Partially based on information supplied by Wikipedia
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