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31 Things You Probably Didn′t Know About Quad Cities

Walt Disney applied for his first job here… and got REJECTED.

Cait White

Contributor

16 articles, 0 comments

1. The Quad Cities is a misnomer. There are actually five cities: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Illinois.

Quad Cities - People

Source: Downtown Davenport, Iowa via Facebook

2. Between Davenport and Rock Island is Arsenal Island, which houses the Rock Island Arsenal, the largest government-owned weapons manufacturer in the entire United States.

3. The notorious lawyer-turned-gangster John Looney’s huge mansion in Rock Island still stands to this day on 17th Avenue.

4. The book “Road to Perdition” and the movie of the same name are based on John Looney’s life.

John Looney - Quad Cities

Source: Monova.org

5. Ronald Reagan began his radio career at WOC in Davenport.

6. Walt Disney applied for his first job in Davenport… and was turned down.

Walt Disney - Quad Cities

Source: Wikipedia user Tallentanut Petrusbarbygere

7. Cooking school students get to have it all in Illinois. If you’re under 21 you can drink legally if you’re involved in a culinary program.

8. In the Illinois cities of the Quad Cities, you can be charged with a felony for eavesdropping—if that isn’t weird enough, there’s more. The crime is eavesdropping on your own conversation.

eavesdropping - Quad Cities

Source: Flickr user uhhhhlaine

9. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the unique Quad City-style pizza. With spicy tomato sauce, the toppings under the cheese, and a nutty-flavored crust, just try to have one strip—yes, it comes in strips, not slices.

Quad City-style pizza

Source: Harris Pizza via Facebook

10. Don’t even try ice skating on Moline’s Riverside pond in June or August—as if that’s even possible—because it is prohibited.

 Moline's Riverside pond - Quad Cities

Source: Flickr user Saad Akhtar


11. Davenport’s Figge Art Museum has some of the country’s best and largest collections of Midwestern, Colonial Mexican, and Haitian works of art, with pieces by Grant Wood, famous for his “American Gothic.”

Davenport's Figge Art Museum - Quad Cities

Source: Figge Art Museum via Facebook

12. You know those fun fuzzy dice you like to hang from your rearview mirror? While Iowa’s Quad Cities contingent can let them fly, they’re not allowed in Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline.

13. Every year the PGA Tour stops in the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic. So major golf names such as Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh have played a round in the area.

14. Ever tried sweet potato beer? It’s just one of the delicious concoctions brewed up by local Quad Cities breweries, Front Street Brewery in Davenport, Blue Cat Brewpub in Rock Island, and Bent River Brewing Company in Moline, which is famous for that potato pint.

potato beer - Quad Cities

Source: Bent River Brewing Company via Facebook

15. You’ve never seen a bridge quite like the Davenport Skybridge. It’s a pedestrian cable bridge fully equipped with kaleidoscope lighting that really stands out against the night sky.

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16. You can thank Quad Cities for all of your John Deere equipment, because Moline is home to the John Deere World Headquarters as well as the John Deere Pavilion, a museum dedicated to the company’s history.

17. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra has been operating since 1916, and the area’s Handel Oratorio Society dates back to 1880, making it one of the first of its kind in the whole country. Not to be outdone, Augustana College’s Augustana Choir is one of the leading college choirs in the United States.

The Quad City Symphony Orchestra

Source: Quad City Symphony via Facebook

18. In Davenport and Bettendorf, bar or restaurant owners that can legally sell alcohol are prohibited from drinking any alcohol in that establishment after it’s closed.

19. The Drake Hotel in Chicago may have the big name, but the Adler Theatre in Davenport was beautifully designed by the same talented man. The theatre hosts both the symphony and the ballet, and it showcases several Broadway-touring plays throughout the year.

Adler Theatre - Quad Cities

Source: Downtown Davenport, Iowa via Facebook

20. The twin towers of the Interstate 74 Bridge represent the two states of the Quad Cities


21. Hollywood stars Laura Flynn Boyle and Mary Beth Peil are both from Davenport.

22. Looks like you should carpool when in the Quad Cities. There is a ban on unnecessary repetitive driving, but only on 23rd Avenue.

Driving - Quad Cities

Source: Giphy.com

23. Representing the five cities, there are five arches along the Rock Island Centennial Bridge, built to celebrate Rock Island’s 100th birthday in 1940.

24. Quad Cities locals are seriously talented in the arts. Jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and theatre pioneer Susan Glaspell were both born in the Quad Cities.

25. The Quad Cities is a popular place for short film shoots, and they often win major awards. These award-winners include several shorts by students of Augustana College, such as “The Yuppie,” “The Real World,” and “Norma Jean,” which earned nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

26. Bettendorf liquor stores are prohibited from placing beer advertisements outside of their establishments.

27. Take that, Hoover. Quad Cities’ Lock and Dam No. 15 is the longest roller dam in existence, and it stretches between Arsenal Island and Davenport.

Hoover Quad Cities

Source: Wikimedia Commons user Dual Freq

28. Make sure you’re always carrying a few bucks in Illinois; you can be arrested for vagrancy if you don’t have at least one dollar bill on your person.

29. The Rock Island Auction Company might look familiar. It was featured on the Discovery Channel show “Ready, Aim, Shoot.”

30. The Putnam Museum in Davenport isn’t just a world-class museum of history and natural science, it also has the biggest movie screen in the entire state at a whopping 57 by 70 feet.

31. Modern Woodmen Park isn’t just the home of the Quad Cities Bandits, it’s practically a carnival unto itself. It was named by “USA Today” as one of the top 10 ballparks to take a baseball pilgrimage, and that’s probably because it has a zip line, rock climbing wall, bounce house, and a 110-foot Ferris wheel inside.

Quad Cities Bandits

Source: RiverBandits.com

Featured image source: Quad Cities via Facebook

What’s your favorite Quad Cities fun fact? Tell us in the comments below!

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posted on: August 26, 2014
82,524 views, 14 comments

14 Comments

  1. Jay Nightingale

    Abraham Lincoln and the Rock Island Bridge case.

  2. Jim Peterson

    Thank you for the mention. I feel honored! #25 mentions two films that John Behnke, Rob Humphrey and I collaborated on (The Yuppie and The Real World) and one that is really just John’s (Norma Jean). I have a couple points to clear up though. The two silent comedies were indeed shot primarily in the Quad Cities, but we were not Augie students. We went to SIU. (A couple scenes of The Real World were shot at Augie)

    Also, Norma Jean is a documentary that was not shot in the QCs, but rather in Oquawka about a monument there marking the grave of an elephant named Norma Jean who was struck by lightning in 1972.

  3. Jim Peterson

    Oh, and Rob and I are from Rock Island, but John is from Monmouth.

    And finally, all three films are available to watch on Vimeo in case anyone is interested.

  4. Linda Holtzer Cain

    In 1856 the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi ran from Davenport to Rock Island. When a steamboat hit the bridge, the railroad company sued. Abraham Lincoln was the winning lawyer for the railroad.

  5. Crystal Morse

    Davenport is the birthplace of Chiropractic too.

  6. Brian

    Happy Joe’s invented the magnificent Taco Pizza!

  7. Linda D.C

    Thank you Crystal! Can’t believe that wasn’t mentioned.

  8. Shawn

    How can the five arches of the Centennial Bridge represent the cities, when it was built in 1940, and the area was known as the Tri-Cities until the 1950’s?

  9. John

    One of only 2 bridges in the world that rotates a full 360 degrees and certainly the best one. The parts to do that were designed and built at the arsenal.

  10. Jerry Andrews

    Hoda Kotb originally worked at WOC TV before she went to the Today Show.

  11. Steve Wilker

    Rock Island was the home of the Rock Island Lines Railroad Co. and the RI Lines Silvis Yard was the largest switching yard west of Chicago for many years. The Quad-Cities is/was home to St. Ambrose grad, Du Pont president and 2 time Academy Award winner(for scientific contribution to the film industry) Wilton(Bill) Holm(Rock Island), actor Robert Young(TV series “Father Knows Best”), NBA great Don Nelson(Rock Island), NFL 49ers running back Roger Craig(Davenport), boxing champ Michael Nunn(Davenport), NBA player Acie Earl(Moline), and The Rock Island Grand Prix(The largest FIA sanctioned go-kart street race in the US). Also, the Rock Island Arsenal was a Confederate POW Camp during the Civil War. The “Underground Railroad” went through Rock Island. The old “Plantation Restaurant” in Moline was, for many years, the only 4 star restaurant in Illinois, outside of Chicago. In the early 1920s The Rock Island Independents pro football team played against George Halas’ Chicago Bears on a regular basis. The Tri-City Black Hawks pro basketball team were sold and became the NBA Atlanta Hawks.

  12. Nancy LeMaster Perez

    Willard Lamb Velie (1866 – October 24, 1928) was a businessman based in Moline, Illinois. He was an executive at Deere & Company before starting his own companies, which grew to become Velie Motor Company. He developed advanced engines for automobiles and airplanes. My Mom always talks about it. Also, no one mentioned “The Plantation”.

  13. Daniel close

    born and raised there coming home soon can’t wait

  14. edmundo soliz

    Hero St U.S.A in Silvis ,Ill, the only street in the USA that has sent more men to serve in the Armed Forces then any other street.

 

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