By Jared Olar
Last week we took a look at the community of Schaeferville, situated just outside the city limits on Pekin’s south side. Another community in a similar situation is Normandale Addition, located at the southwest corner of Pekin right outside the city limits.
Normandale is several decades older than Schaeferville. There’s no trace of Normandale in the 1910 Tazewell County plat book and atlas, but it’s there on the 1927 Pekin Zoning Plan map. Two years later, “NORMANDALE ADD. TO PEKIN” is drawn on the map of Cincinnati Township that appears on page 42 of the 1929 Tazewell County play book and atlas, where it is shown south of the old cemetery and the Quaker Oats plant. The same volume features a close-up map of Normandale Addition.
In those days, Normandale consisted of two east-west streets, Fleischmann and Insull, connected by three short north-south streets, American, Quaker, and Karo. In 1927 the Chicago, Peoria & St. Louis Railroad tracks, making a northeasterly path toward Pekin, formed Normandale’s western boundary, while South Second Street was the eastern boundary. By 1929 the Chicago, Peoria & St. Louis tracks had become the Chicago-Midland Railroad – the tracks are still there, now the Illinois Midland Railroad.
Since 1929, the community of Normandale has expanded to include Thornton Avenue as its northern boundary and Midland Street as its southern boundary, with and additional street, Virginia, linking Insull and Midland at the western boundary. Pekin today has expanded so that the city borders Normandale on the community’s north, east, and south sides, but Normandale still remains separate from the city (although a few lots along Second Street just south of Fleischmann are now within the city limits). Interestingly, for a while Normandale Addition bore the name of “Crescent,” as shown on the maps in Drury’s 1954 “This is Tazewell County” as well as later plat maps in the 1950s and 1960s — but that name apparently didn’t stick and the community is known as Normandale today.
Many of Normandale’s streets bear names that are derived from the community’s location adjacent to Pekin’s industrial district. Fleischmann was named for the old Fleischmann Yeast plant, Quaker was named for the Quaker Oats plant, American was named for American Distillery, Karo was named for Karo syrup which used to be made at the Corn Products Refining plant, and Midland was named for the railroad. Insull was named in honor of Commonwealth Edison’s founder Samuel Insull (1859-1938), because of the Commonwealth Edison plant at nearby Powerton.
Five businesses currently operate in Normandale: KDL Machining at 1917 S. Second St., Precision RC Hobbies at 1901 S. Second St., Herbal Soap Supples at 403 Midland, MacDuff’s tavern at 1703 S. Second St., and perhaps the best known of Normandale’s business, Cranwill’s Drive In at 1713 S. Second St., which originally was an A & W Drive In.
The community is also the home of Normandale Reformed Church at 2001 S. Second St. The church was established in 1945 as a daughter church of Pekin’s Second Reformed Church.