BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD) — Carrying on the legacy of the Peoria State Hospital, museum staff hosted its annual “Bazaar”– or community fair– replicating a tradition for the psychiatric hospital patients.
“The “Bazaar” is based around the “Bazaar” held at the hospital, they had it every year where they would host the patients’ artwork. We are doing the same thing by hosting our local community’s artwork,” said director of the museum, Christina Morris.
The fair featured vendors selling artwork, food, jewelry, and more.
The owner of Twisted Sticks and a vendor for the museum for three years, Devri Colver said it’s important for people to come out to learn the history themselves.
“There are so many rumors that this is such a haunted place and a horrible place to be but when you come here you learn so much about the history and that it was not like that,” said Colver.
Morris said it’s important to keep the history alive because of the impact the hospital had on its walls and the community.
“The Peoria State Hospital opened in 1902, it closed in 1973. We were a number one institution for 69 of our 71 years. A lot of therapies that they’re using today were created here on the Hilltop,” said Morris.
The hospital was located where the museum resides now on Pfeiffer Road in Bartonville.
Morris said it was a mental asylum ran in a nontraditional way by its former superintendent, Dr. George Zeller.
“Dr. Zeller felt that no one was incurable they just needed a safe place. He worked hard to make this institution a place that his employees can be proud of but most importantly his patients are proud of,” said Morris.
Staff Members said the hospital was like no other.
“When this place first started it was a city in itself. People didn’t want to leave they did call this home,” said a Staff member of the museum and mother of Christina Morris, Catherine Englebrecht.
Morris said there’s only 12 buildings out of the original 63 that remains.
She said to continue to preserve them, its important for the community to come out to more events like the “Bazaar” fair.
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