Pekin West Campus

7. James Field / PCHS West Campus

Site Coordinates: N 40˚34'02.3" W 89˚38'22.4"

This is one of 10 caches (a hidden container) placed around historic sites in Pekin. These sites along with 10 other sites will provide letters or numbers you'll need to ultimately unscramble a prominent name and year in Pekin's history. Once you've obtained all 20 letters and numbers and unscrambled the name and year, submit your answer to be entered into a drawing for a locally 3-D printed "flat" Everett, $50 in Chamber Checks and other Pekin swag!

Please be courteous and aware of your surroundings (do not disrupt landscaping or destroy anything during your search) and place each cache back how you found it to ensure it remains hidden. All caches are on public property. This cache placed with permission from Pekin School District 108 and the Pekin Park District. Please be stealthy & courteous!

Practice CITO (cache-in-trash-out: a way to help keep our environment clean) & happy caching! We hope you enjoy this historic tour of Pekin & participate in other events throughout 2024 to celebrate this milestone.

A special thank you to the United Way of Pekin for sponsoring the cache containers.

If you have any questions, please email us at

A Bit of History...

Public grade school education in Pekin through the years

The founding pioneer settlers of Pekin believed it was very important to provide youth with a good education. So it was that in 1830, the year of Pekin’s founding, the town’s first school opened. A log cabin built by Thomas Snell, it was located on the west side of Second Street between Elizabeth and St. Mary streets, at the southwest corner of Elizabeth and Second. Snell’s son John was the teacher.

Pekin’s first school house also has the distinction of temporarily serving as a fort during the Black Hawk War of 1832. The town’s inhabitants quickly threw up a stockade around the building. Thankfully, Fort Doolittle, as it was called, never had to be used, which was an especially good thing since, as the publications on Pekin’s early history relate, the fort’s builders had forgotten to provide it with a water supply.

A few years later, Pekin’s second school, called the Cincinnati School, was built at the corner of Franklin and Third streets. A one-story frame house situated near the lower end of the long vanished Bitzel’s Lake (which later would be drained to make way for the railroad), Cincinnati School would get surrounded by water every spring, so temporary bridges would be placed to enable the students to get to the school, or else the shorter pupils would have to be carried by the taller ones.


Original Pekin Schools

Think you have Solved The Puzzle?

Once you have visited all the sites and unscrambled the numbers and letters, send us your answer for a chance to win prizes! Submissions are due by December 31st, 2024; winner drawn January 6th, 2025.