Illinois State Museum


Friday, October 26, 2018 at 7:30 AM CDT
Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 7:30 PM CDT

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Elizabeth Bazan 
Illinois State Museum 


ISM Research & Collections Center 
1011 E. Ash St.
Springfield, IL 62703

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A Bicentennial Travel Adventure: West Central Illinois

Rock Island & Moline

Online Registration is Closed

Depending on hotel availability, we may be able to add participants to the trip. Please contact Elizabeth Bazan at (217) 558-6696 or to inquire about joining us on this trip.

The Quad-Cities are a large, bi-state metropolitan area with a population of over 400,000. Among bi-state regions in the U.S., it is somewhat unique in that its population is divided almost equally between both sides. The trip will visit some key components of Quad Cities history and current character. It also will answer the questions: How did this boundary come to be? Why are there four different cities instead of one on each side? How much cross-state cooperation exists? 

Cost Includes:

  • Presentations by Dr. Norman Moline
  • Chartered motorcoach with internet
  • Admission to all facilities, museums, and historic sites
  • Hotel, meals, and snacks

Double Occupancy (per person):

  • Museum Society Members: $279
  • Non-members: $315

Single Occupancy (per person):

  • Museum Society Members: $329
  • Non-members: $365

A deposit of $100 per person is due by Monday, September 24. The final balance is due by October 15. The tour is limited to 40 participants.


Dr. Norman Moline is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Augustana College in Rock Island. He will join the trip in the Quad Cities to serve as an educator and guide. His specialties are historical geography, cultural geography, resource management, Illinois, and East Asia. He has served two terms on Illinois’ National Register Advisory Council. At Augustana, he founded the environmental studies program and co-founded the Asian studies program. He has directed many student programs and alumni trips. He is pleased to be the guide for this trip. 


Judy Wagenblast is retired from Lincoln Land Community College where sheserved as Director of Community Education. She has taught communications and marketing as an adjunct instructor at four other colleges and is dedicated to lifelong learning.

Trip Highlights

John Deere Headquarters This complex, opened in 1964, consists of four buildings on 1,400 acres. The main buildings were designed by Eero Saarinen, the architect of St. Louis’ Arch, and have won many architectural awards. Their design was intended to reflect the character of the company. William Hewitt, chairman of the company, said: “The several buildings should be thoroughly modern in concept but should not give the effect of being especially sophisticated or glossy. Instead, they should be more ‘down to earth’ and rugged. We will visit the large floor display area and the three-dimensional timeline “Reflections of an Era,” an excellent “museum” of agriculture and John Deere history.

John Deere Seeding Group Factory  This factory, one of two which Deere has kept in the Quad Cities, produces two important seed planters. Its riverside location has been used by the company for much of its history. Our tour will guide us through the manufacturing process.

Black Hawk State Historic Site This 208-acre site became a state park in 1927, one of the earliest state parks in Illinois. In 1979 its status was changed to a Historic Site. It is near the location of Saukenuk, the village of the Sauk tribe of which Black Hawk was a warrior, which was the largest settlement in what is now Illinois at the time of statehood. The Hauberg Indian Museum introduces visitors to the Sauk culture and natural characteristics of this area. Much of the site is forest, a dedicated Nature Preserve.

Broadway and Highland Park Historic Districts Both located in Rock Island, Broadway is the grand Victorian neighborhood, the premier historic area in the city. Most of its buildings (about 550) are from 1890-1915 and are primarily of Queen Anne, Italianate and Colonial Revival styles. The smaller Highland Park area contains a broad array of styles, especially the Revivals, which were fashionable in the first quarter of the 20th century. Most buildings date from 1895 to 1928. Its many good brick streets contribute to its special character.

Sylvan Island This site became an island in 1871when a tailrace linked with water power dams on the Mississippi was cut across a peninsula. In 1894 steel production began on the island which continued to 1956. Since then vegetation has come back to this damaged landscape. It now functions as a unique combination nature park, fishing park, cycling park, and historical park. It is a “museum without walls,” an industrial archaeology site, where one can learn about key aspects of Quad Cities history in the midst of industrial remnants and forest, traversed by many trails and surrounded by water. This island is in a section of the Quad Cities which has many old and new examples of sustainability.

Geology/Physical Geography of the Area This section of the Mississippi River flows east-west. In geologic terms, it is a young valley which explains why in human time it was characterized by rocky rapids. A Professor of Geography at Augustana College will discuss this long term history and link that history with the present features seen and the resultant characteristics of the Mississippi River here.

Rock Island Arsenal The U.S. government has had a presence on this 960-acre island (originally called Rock Island) in the Mississippi River for 202 years, beginning with Fort Armstrong (1816-1836). In 1862 it was chosen to be the site of an arsenal which has continued to the present time. On its east end is a National Cemetery and a separate confederate cemetery. The many manufacturing buildings constructed in the last decades of the 19th century were constructed of yellowish limestone. The whole island is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it provides manufacturing, logistics and base support for the Armed Forces. The Arsenal is the only active U.S. foundry and manufactures ordnance and equipment, including artillery, gun mounts, small arms, aircraft weapons sub-systems, grenade launchers, etc. It employs about 5,000 people, mostly civilians. At its west end is the visitor center associated with Lock and Dam 15 on the Upper Mississippi River, one of the 27 between Minneapolis and St. Louis.

Celebration Belle This 90-minute cruise (with buffet lunch) on the 750 passenger “paddle wheel” boat will allow us to review this section of the river and its Illinois and Iowa shorelines in Pool 15. Of special interest, we will have a good river perspective of the $1.2 billion I-74 bridge under construction.

 Railroad Museum in Galesburg On our return trip, we will stop to visit this site. For much of its history, Galesburg has been an important rail center. Initially a key stop on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, it became a key route to the west when the bridge across the Mississippi was completed. The AMTRAK California Zephyr continues to use that route. The CB&Q located a major car sorting operation here. It later became a stop on the Santa Fe Railroad. Now merged as the BNSF, these two lines average seven trains per hour going through this city. Its railroad museum provides good historic stories and objects and an opportunity to walk through old rail cars and onto an old steam engine.

Cancellation Policy: Full refunds can be made only if vacancy can be filled, or if tour is cancelled for any reason.