Region VI CRC 2020 - History Displays

 Learn more about each of the Region VI Chapters and their rich histories!

CEdar Valley


Coming soon!




Central Illinois

The Central Illinois Chapter spans the center of the state from Quincy in the West to Danville in the East. However, the core group lives in the Peoria / Bloomington-Normal / Champaign-Urbana / Springfield area. The 2020 CRC was originally planned to take place in Peoria, so Central Illinois Historian Ryan Holmes has provided some more detail focused on the history of Peoria. 



Additional historical information on Peoria can be found at the following links:

Peoria Historical Society

Peoria Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Peoria Journal Star Article on Peoria History

Peoria History

Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, established in 1691 by French explorer Henri de Tonti. It was first called Fort Crevecoeur, and was constructed by de Tonti, along with René-Robert Cavelier and Sieur de La Salle. The fort later burned down, and was replaced in 1813 by Fort Clark, which was renamed Peoria when the County of Peoria was established in 1825. Peoria takes its name from the Peoria tribe, and is believed by many to be a derivation of a Proto-Algonquian word meaning "to dream with the help of a Manitou." The Manitou are spirit beings of the Algonquian tribes. Originally, the tribes numbered in the hundreds, living in New England, the St. Lawrence River area and the Great Lakes region.

Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River, giving its downtown picturesque views that only a riverfront can provide. The Peoria Riverfront district is one of the state's oldest urban areas, and is home to great restaurants, live entertainment, cultural centers and more. The passing by of barges and pleasure boats, like the paddlewheel boat The Spirit of Peoria, adds to the ambiance.

The city is home to the USDA's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, the lab where mass production of penicillin was developed.

Peoria is the home of the "world's most beautiful drive," (according to Theodore Roosevelt, anyway). During a 1910 visit, the 26th president made the comment about Grandview Drive, which runs through Peoria and Peoria Heights.

An old river town is a great place to take a peek into history, and the city's historical museums and homes help visitors do just that. Popular places to visit are the Pettengill-Morron House Museum, built in 1868; the John C Flanagan House Museum, built in 1837; and the Wheels O' Time Museum, which exhibits items representing industry, farm and home life, transportation and entertainment from the past.

The city is home to not just one, but three museums that serve as cultural hubs for the area. The Peoria Riverfront Museum connects art, history and science through exhibitions, collections and programs. The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria is home to art exhibits, artist studios, open mic for poetry, salsa and swing dancing, and instruction in art, dance, yoga and tai chi. The Peoria Art Guild and Galleries is a leader in contemporary art and also hosts the Annual Fine Art Fair, named in the top 100 art fairs in the country.

The city is home to several music and performance groups. They include the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the 10th oldest in the nation, as well as the Peoria Municipal Band, Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Peoria Area Civic Chorale and the Peoria Ballet Company.

This city is no stranger to higher education. Bradley University, Midstate College, Methodist College, OSF St. Francis College of Nursing, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Illinois Central College and Robert Morris University are all located here. In addition, Eureka College and the main campus of Illinois Central College are located in nearby Eureka and East Peoria, respectively.

Notable famous people from Peoria include comedian Richard Pryor, musician Dan Fogelberg, professional basketball player Shaun Livingston, professional baseball player and manager Joe Girardi, professional baseball player Jim Thome, writer and activist Betty Friedan and Roman Catholic archbishop Fulton John Sheen.

Peoria has been awarded the All-America City Award four times: in 1953, 1966, 1989 and 2013.

Construction, mining equipment, engine, industrial turbine and diesel-electric locomotive maker Caterpillar has been here for almost 90 years.

Between 1837 and 1919, Peoria was home to more than 24 breweries and 73 distilleries, earning it the names "Whiskey City" and the "Whiskey Capital of the World." At the whiskey industry's height, the Peoria tax collection district supplied almost half of the federal government's alcohol tax revenue. Before the distilleries were closed due to Prohibition, Peoria made about one-third of all the whiskey in the country.





Below is the Illinois Chapter history display provided by their Historian, Fiona Martin McCarthy. You can also learn more about the Illinois Chapter history by visiting their website.










The 2019-2020 Iowa Chapter Historian (Brian Steffens) took on quite the history project! His mission was to compile all the photos the chapter had, organize them by event, and have them complied/posted on their chapter website.  As part of the project, they automated the process of new pictures getting posted on their website. Whenever they save their pictures into their google drive account, they will automatically be posted on their website for their members to view! Check it out!




La Crosse Area

The La Crosse chapter of ASHRAE has a long tradition and wanted that to be on display for everyone to see, even though we can't be together in-person to visit the history displays. They've posted their most recent chapter history display and a presentation on the history of Trane TRACE software that was later published in a paper in ASHRAE Transactions, authored by their previous chapter historian, John Sustar. You can enjoy this information and more of the La Crosse Area history display by visiting their website.









Madison's historian, Cameron Klein, provided a fantastic Power Point presentation! See some excerpts below and get the full Madison Historical Presentation for 2019-2020 here*. 
*link is a PDF download






This is an excerpt from the extensive 2020 CRC History Display provided by the Minnesota Chapter. Click here to download the full PDF!






Mississippi Valley


The Mississippi Valley historian, none other than the beloved Sherm Sweeney, has maintained quite the chapter history! (No surprise there!) A small screenshot is provided below, but you can see MUCH more Mississippi Valley history by visiting their website.




Northeast Wisconsin


Coming soon!




St. Louis


St. Louis had an excellent 2019-2020 year, despite going virtual in March! Check out their 2019-2020 poster below and on their website here.





The Wisconsin Historian, Shana Jones, provided the display board image below. Visit the Wisconsin Chapter website for more information!