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Roald Tweet

Writer and Narrator of 'Rock Island Lines'

Beginning 1995, historian and folklorist Dr. Roald Tweet spun his stories of the Mississippi Valley to a devoted audience on WVIK. Dr. Tweet published three books as well as numerous literary articles and recorded segments of "Rock Island Lines." His inspiration was that "kidney-shaped limestone island plunked down in the middle of the Mississippi River," a logical site for a storyteller like Dr. Tweet.

It was from Rock Island’s rich heritage that Dr. Tweet spun his histories, biographies and "stretchers." Among his favorite topics were railroads and riverboats, which he combined on a CD in celebration of the Grand Excursion in 2004. "Rock Island Lines with Roald Tweet" received awards from the Illinois Historical Society as well as the Towner Award from the Illinois Humanities Council.

Dr. Tweet was professor emeritus, retired from the Augustana College English department, where he was professor and Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities. A writer and radio personality, Dr. Tweet was also an accomplished woodcarver and whittler.

Dr. Tweet left us in November of 2020, but his legacy lives on. You can hear many of his Rock Island Lines in podcast form here and also in a forthcoming book from WVIK and East Hall Press.

  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.Before you decide that there's not much you can do about the world's problems, that your vote does not count, listen to…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.The Young Men's Christian Association arrived in Rock Island on April 20th, 1884, floating high on a cloud of idealism,…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.Nancy Hartzell might well have lived out her life in Rock Island as a dutiful and hard-working Methodist pioneer wife…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.The storekeepers and merchants of Rock Island and Moline had survived for fifty years in the face of fires and floods,…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.When the citizens of Dubuque, Iowa, decided it was high time their up and coming city had a town clock back in 1864,…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.A hundred years ago, Rock Island still had its share of heinous and nefarious villains who perpetrated dastardly deeds…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.If you've ever noticed the general lack of rainbows over the Mississippi Valley, you may have ascribed it to our being…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.I have no doubt that the secret of William H. Voss's success was his mother, that is, if mothers back in 1875 were at…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.Buffalo Bill may not have been the fastest gun in the Old West, but you can put him down for the title of "fastest…
  • Community
    This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.If you want to know why Moline and Geneseo have hardly spoken to each other for years, you have to go back to the…