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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 02:56 am

Quad Cities, a great place to go


See scenic Davenport from this overlook.

With the heat of summer in the rear view mirror, it is time for a fall adventure. Head to the Quad Cities along the big Ole Mississippi. There is a lot to do in the Quad Cities and on the way there and back as well.

Want to horse around? You can check out horse power at the Horse and Buggy Museum in Biggsville, Ill. Jerry Wiebel and his wife, Mary Lynn (Watson) Weibel, started the museum in 2006. “I started playing with horses in 1995,” Jerry said, “mainly for the grandkids because I wanted to pass on teamster skills my grandfather taught me.”

Before opening the museum that highlights horses and their place in agriculture, the Weibels opened up their 100-acre farm and offered living history demonstrations. Today they have moved their horse and buggy collection into a museum and offer a chance for you to learn all about horse farming and horse power. “The horse era started about 1820 with the early trappers, and lasted until about 1920 when the farm tractor was invented. By 1920 there were few horses being used for farm power,” Jerry said.

The Horse and Buggy Museum is located at 210 Main Street in Biggsville, Ill., and is open March 15 – July 15 and Sept. 15 – Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. To reach the museum, call 309-221-0066.

Love John Deere green? If so your stop needs to include Moline, which was once home to many of the greatest machinery giants and still is for John Deere. Begin your visit at the John Deere Commons which includes the store and the John Deere Pavilion. Even if you have stopped here in the past, with their ever changing array of exhibits there is always something new. Kids love the big tractors and combines and can even climb on some of the big old machines. There are interactive displays and some of the old iron for collectors and those who may want to reminisce a bit about days on the farm.

For more JD history don’t forget the John Deere Headquarters. My favorite Moline haunts are the mansions; there is the Butterworth and Charles Deere Wiman mansion. The website http://tinyurl.com/9pux2ta will help you plan your visit.

A beautiful truck at theIowa 80 Trucking Museum.

While in Moline, we always stop and dine at the Bent River Brewery which is near the Pavilion and offers fine fare for a good price. For fine dining Johnny’s Italian Steak House is right in the John Deere Commons and the food can’t be beat. OK, I can’t talk about Moline without mentioning one of my favorite haunts, Lagomarcino’s, which was established in 1908 by Angelo Lagomarcino, an immigrant from Northern Italy. Today they offer great light lunches, but oh the desserts! This candy shop and ice cream store in the old-fashioned setting is simply yummy! If you don’t catch Lagomarcino’s in Moline you can find a newer but still tasty version in Davenport’s East Village which also offers cool little shops. Details are available at http://www.lagomarcinos.com/history.php.

Davenport! Want to get artsy? Davenport is a great place for this. The renowned Figge Art Museum has an exhibit focusing on NASA through Oct. 7 and there are many great art collections offering to immerse you in artistic beauty. Check out http://www.figgeartmuseum.org/Home.aspx for details. For the kid in you or kids with you until Sept. 9, the Putnam Museum has the exhibit Dinosaurs Come Alive which offers 14 moving dinosaurs, two full-sized skeletons, 22 fossils and a dig pit for children. There is an array of other permanent things to see and do at the Putnam as well. Call 309-277-0937 or log onto www.putnam.org/dinosaursunearthed.

For dining options consider the historic and beautiful Blackhawk Hotel located downtown at 200 E Third St., Davenport. Call 563-322-5000 for details. A brew pub option is the Front Street Brewery, founded in 1992. According to their website, this pub “was once home to a vegetable warehouse, car repair garage, printing company and beer warehouse.”

The Front Street Brewery is at 208 East River Drive. Go to http://www.frontstreetbrew.com for details.

While there are many great things to see and do in the Quad Cities, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an upcoming event. East West Riverfest is a 10-day celebration, Sept. 7-16, of the arts, culture, and heritage of the Quad Cities. The celebration emphasizes existing festivals, events and activities, along with new ones that being held specifically because of the celebration. http://www.visitquadcities.com/ewrf/.

Jerry Wiebel beside horse equipment at the Horse and Buggy Museum in Biggsville.

Are you a truck nut? If so take an extra hour or so to stop the by the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. I visited this museum last summer and enjoyed the beautiful vintage trucks that were collected by the Iowa 80 Truckstop founder, Bill Moon. Many of the trucks on display are rare and one-of-a-kind. The website is http://iowa80truckingmuseum.com. Check out the world’s largest truck stop while you are there.

As always, this is just a small portion of the things to see in do in the Quad Cities. Log onto www.visitquadcities.com or call 1-800-747-7800 for more information.

Cindy Ladage of Virden recently retired from the State of Illinois Radon Program and is now focusing her energies on her family, writing and fun.

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