Created By: Pekin Public Library
The Pekin riverfront pier was built in 2002. In the past Pekin had several commercial fish markets along its riverfront in this area, both north and south of its bridges. Until excessive pollution of the river made it unsafe to eat river-caught fish, the market owners caught fish from the river and sold their catches to local stores and restaurants, and even shipped by rail to other parts of the country. The last fish market at the foot of court street closed in the mid-20th century -- gone by 1966.
Back in the 1910s and 1920s, fish caught in the Illinois River were often transported to Pekin's riverfront to waiting railroad cars on the horse-drawn wagons of Kriegsman Movers, which was founded in Sept. 1913 by P. J. Kriegsman. His son Arthur Kriegsman later would recall of those days, "Twice a week our wagons hauled freight from the river boat 'Bald Eagle' on the Illinois River. The fish business prospered in those days and we hauled many loads from fish markets to the railroads for shipment elsewhere."
This point of interest is part of the tour: Pekin Riverfront History