About The Quad Cities

Everything (almost) You Wanted To Know About the Quad-Cities
Located on the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities includes Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline in Illinois, and surrounding communities.

  • The Quad-Cities has more than 6,000 motel-hotel rooms. Its largest meeting facility offers more than 100,000 square feet of space.
  • When he was just 24, Davenport-born cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, in the 1920's was making more than $200 a week, quite a princely sum in those days.
  • Bix Beiderbecke's Family Piano and cornet may be seen at the Putnam Museum and Science Center in Davenport at 12th & Division streets.
  • Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island is the former site of Saukenuk, once home to 11,000 members of the Sauk tribe.
  • Black Hawk, the great Sauk warrior and leader, was born in 1767 at the Saukenuk village near the mouth of the Rock River.
  • During the Black Hawk War in the 1830s, Abraham Lincoln participated in what is now the Quad Cities as a captain.
  • The entire Sauk and Fox nation gathered at the Village of East Davenport in 1836 to sign a treaty relinquishing its land in the Quad-City area.
  • Buffalo Bill Cody, famed western scout and buffalo hunter, was born in a farmhouse near LeClaire, Iowa, just outside Bettendorf.
  • The German American Heritage Center in Davenport is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are permanent and temporary exhibits, including interactive, audio-visual exhibits at 2nd & Gaines streets.
  • During the Civil War, more than 12,000 captured Confederate prisoners were held on Arsenal Island. Many died there, mostly of cholera, pneumonia and other ailments, and are buried in the Confederate Cemetery on the island.
  • Fort Armstrong on Arsenal Island was an active military post in the early wilderness and lasted from 1816 to 1836. A replica of the fort is on display in the Rock Island Arsenal Museum. The Museum displays more than 1,200 firearms from every U.S. War.
  • The two parallel locks at Lock and Dam 15, between Davenport and Rock Island, hold approximately 25 million gallons of water.  It is the largest roller dam in the world.
  • A tow of 20,000 tons loaded on 12 or 15 barges is typical today of the Upper Mississippi River.  It is 15 times greater than a rail car.
  • What is now the Quad-Cities area was the site of the western-most battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in 1780.
  • Antoine LeClaire founded the City of Davenport in 1836, naming it after his good friend, Colonel George Davenport. LeClaire’s 1850's mansion is located on Davenport’s East 7th Street, and is restored.
  • Bandits murdered Colonel George Davenport in his home on Arsenal Island on July 4, 1845, while his family was away celebrating Independence Day. The killers were later caught and hanged. The restored home is open to the public.
  • Completed in 1854, the first railroad bridge to span the Mississippi River linked Rock Island and Davenport. The current Government Bridge between Davenport and Rock Island was completed in 1896.
  • During World War II more than 18,000 people were employed at the Rock Island Arsenal.
  • Vermont-born blacksmith John Deere began making his self-scouring steel plows in Moline in 1847. He was soon producing 1,000 plows annually.
  • The worldwide headquarters of Deere & Co. in Moline, was completed in 1964 and designed by world-renowned architect Eero Sarrinen - who also designed the St. Louis Arch.
  • The John Deere Pavilion opened in downtown Moline in August 1997.
  • The Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, in addition to offering memorabilia of old steamboat days on the Mississippi, and pioneer goods, also has a display celebrating LeClaire-born James Ryan, inventor of the “black box” flight recorder.
  • With 10 different makes of automobiles being manufactured in the early 1900's, what became the Quad Cities was then known as “Little Detroit.”
  • Modern, legalized riverboat gambling started in the Quad Cities on April 1, 1991.
  • The Quad-City Times Bix 7 Road Race in July annually attracts between 15,000 to 20,000 runners and walkers.
  • More than 100 festivals and events are held each year in the Quad Cities.