Peru, Illinois is a quiet, firmly middle-class city located in the Illinois Valley. The city benefitted greatly over the years from its bustling railroad lines that helped it transition from a busy river port to a notable industrial hub. Along with its four nearby coal mines, other industries that have thrived in Peru are lumber, zinc manufacturing and clock making at Westclox - which at one point in the city’s history was the area’s largest employer. Today, Peru has the distinction of housing the world’s largest potassium permanganate producer and one of the nation’s last manufacturers of nails. Also based in the city and drawing in commerce is the Illinois Valley Regional Airport.
Being located in the heart of LaSalle County in central Illinois means residents are only a short jaunt from a wealth of art, historical and recreational destinations. But Peru also offers attractions of its own. The legacy of Peru’s most famous resident, Maud Powell, a famous American violinist, is preserved by the Maud Powell Society. The organization annually presents the Maul Powell Arts Celebration, which includes musical performances and art shows. Residents and visitors who want to cool off during the summer can check out the Adele and Delwin Link Memorial Aquatic Center, which has a leisure pool, inner tube waterslide, and other attractions. The center is part of the Illinois Valley YMCA.