The oldest European settlement in Illinois, the city of Peoria, is more than just an entertainment maxim. Obviously, the mere existence of the phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?” identifies the city as the breathing definition of mainstream Americana. Still, the underlying story of the quote reveals an underlying history about the area.
Peoria was a hotspot for Vaudevillian entertainment during the Roaring 20s. Show creators would schedule their new ventures in the city as quickly as humanly possible in order to gauge audience response in a conventional setting.
Of course, the history of Peoria goes back well before the height of Vaudeville, hundreds of years before. French adventurer Henri de Tonti built Fort Crevecoeur on these lands in 1680. After the foundation was destroyed in a fire, it was later rebuilt as Fort Clark in 1813. Once the town was incorporated in 1825, it was renamed Peoria, but the city sits on the same ground where Tonti’s Fort once resided.
As of the 2010 census, the city of Peoria contains a population of 115,007. Including the surrounding metropolitan area vastly increases the population to 373,590 citizens. Due to its size, a bustling precious metals market can be found in the greater Peoria area. If you live here and are looking to buy coins, collectibles or precious metals, we have compiled a list of local coin shops in the area.
Wendy’s Creative Collections and Coins
3223 North Prospect Road
Peoria, IL 61603
While the company’s online presence is localized to the social media portals of Google+ and Facebook, both pages are well-maintained. New products are oftentimes listed on these sites once they become available for purchase. The ability to interact directly with potential retailers is a breath of fresh air for brick-and-mortar bullion companies.
Westlake Rare Coins
7815 West Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, IL 61614
This company offers the bold assertion that it is “Peoria’s oldest & largest coin & currency dealer.” They focus on coins and currency, but history enthusiasts may also be interested in picking up some rare Civil War memorabilia while at the store. Also note that if you have any dental scrap, Westlake Rare Coins will buy that, as well.
A-Z Jewelry & Swap, Inc.
414 SW Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61602
Pawn shops are oftentimes the most underrated locations to purchase precious metals. This particular enterprise wants to reward traders as much as possible. If you sell gold or silver to them, they will offer you an additional 5% discount on any additional purchases made during the store visit.
1404 E Empire St
Bloomington, IL 61701
This company has been in existence since 1990, but its root go all the way back to 1972 when the company’s founder began selling his wares via Antique Traders Magazine. This particular store has been so productive over the years that several of its employees have leveraged their experiences into creating memorabilia stores of their own. Midwest Exchange is the unquestioned leader in Bloomington coin exchange.