Founded in 1848, Moline has had the past 170 years to form a unique vibe you won’t find anywhere else. The architecture, stunning visuals of the city, the might of the Mississippi, and the culture all wind together to provide the setting. Aside from these ubiquitous qualities, the city also has many other interesting things that even some locals don’t know about. If you’re interested in learning more about the second-largest (yet perhaps most famous) of the Quad Cities, and its three (or four) sister cities, here are some fascinating tidbits to get you started.
The Home of John Deere
Image via Flickr by qrush
In 1837, John Deere developed the world’s first steel plow, allowing farmers across the country to till more land in less time. Little did he know that his company would grow to become the world’s largest producer of agricultural equipment, grossing nearly $40 billion a year and employing over 60,000 workers across the globe. The most interesting aspect is that it all started in Moline.
Today, Deere & Company still calls Moline its home and has a massive presence throughout the city via employment, advertising, and city beautification programs, just to name a few. Close to downtown, the John Deere Pavilion is a free museum that allows guests to climb into tractors or explore agriculture through interactive exhibits. While other companies nationwide have moved their headquarters and branches to larger cities or overseas, John Deere stays true to its roots.
If you love all things Deere, book a stay in downtown Moline to explore all of the company’s tourist attractions. With factory tours, the pavilion, the Tractor & Engine Museum, and the world headquarters, John Deere has something for everyone.
The 360-Degree Swing of the Government Bridge
Stretching 1,600 feet across the Mississippi River from Moline to Davenport, Iowa, the Government Bridge is one of the oldest in the state. Opened in 1896, it was originally designed for locomotive traffic, but today it accommodates about 16,500 cars daily. However, this isn’t the most enthralling aspect of the bridge.
Government Bridge, known locally as Arsenal Bridge, is one of just two bridges in the world that can rotate 360 degrees in both directions, allowing barges to pass through the Quad Cities with ease. To add to the intrigue, the bridge is powered by an antique trolley motor, which has moved the bridge since its inception.
The Beginning of Greatness
While John Deere is the most famous son of the Quad Cities, he is not the only iconic personality to call the area home. A few years before Mickey Mouse, Bambi, or Snow White delighted audiences on the big screen, their creator, Walt Disney, applied for a job as an animator in Davenport. After analyzing Disney’s work, company officials deemed his work terrible, declining to hire him for the position. He moved to California shortly thereafter, and the rest is history.
As the 90th largest metropolitan area in the country, the Quad Cities aren’t as well- known as some other areas — but that doesn’t detract from how interesting they are. The next time you’re in town, experience the area firsthand to learn even more and experience one of the Midwest hidden gems.