News about the Quad Cities and surrounding region.

Life Of The Mississippi

Apr 29, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Drive with me down the 2,500 miles of Great River Road along the Mississippi from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and let's watch the river grow.

West Fever

Apr 28, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

When John Soule advised his Indiana readers in 1851 to "Go West, young man," a phrase Horace Greely later made famous, he was already writing after the fact. By then several hundred steamboats a month were streaming up the Mississippi past Rock Island and Davenport, loaded with young men—and women—with families from the East and the South, from Ireland and Norway, England and Germany heading west to the California gold fields or to the newly opened prairies of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The Reverend Brich

Apr 27, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

On the ninth of March in 1837, the Reverend John Brich, an itinerant Presbyterian minister from England, froze to death after his horse fell through the ice of a creek near the Rock Island County border. Reverend Brich hung his saddle bags on a tree and wandered two miles into adjacent Henry County before succumbing to the cold. Had it been the other way around, the American Bible Society may have been five hundred dollars richer, and Rock Island County may have had to settle for a wooden courthouse as was common in other frontier counties, rather than the ornate brick structure with imposing columns and a winding staircase to the second floor that graced Rock Island's courthouse square. Here's what happened.

A social services agency in the Quad Cities is 125 years old on Monday, but because of the pandemic will postpone a public celebration until next year.

Spokesman Steve Gottcent says Friendly House in Davenport provides a variety of services for children, seniors, and families, and serves more than 9,000 people every year.

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Prisoners of war have more time to dream than most—and more need to. Defeated fighting for a cause they believed in, surrounded by enemies, cold and hungry, dreams are what they have left.

The Cities - Pgm #1122

Apr 24, 2021


Apr 23, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Benjamin W. Clark was an entrepreneur who planned ahead. Few speculators would have disagreed with his decision to establish a ferry service across the Mississippi just below the mouth of the Rock River. Clark reasoned that the flood of immigrants expected to head for newly opened Iowa farmland would cross the river at the most logical place. Lake Michigan, whose tip was almost due east, prevented those immigrants from going further north, while the multiple channels of the Rock River delta would make it difficult to get to the Davenport ferry upstream at Rock Island. To the south, Illinois was already settled, having become a state in 1818.

After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Quad Cities 4th of July fireworks will return. Red, White, and Boom is set for Saturday July 3rd, on the Mississippi River between Rock Island and Davenport.

Organizing Committee Chair Ken Croken says it's even more important than ever this year because of last summer's cancellation.

"We're just really looking forward to restoring what has become the keystone event of the Quad Cities' summer and that's Red, White, and Boom."

Down-River Men

Apr 22, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Some of the finest schools on the Upper Mississippi River in the 19th century were the ten-acre rafts of Minnesota and Wisconsin white pine floating down to the sawmills of Rock Island, Davenport, and Moline. The twenty to thirty men who worked on these rafts and steered them down to the mills may not have diagrammed sentences or practiced their multiplication tables along the way, but they learned the habit of attention, and a philosophy of life likely more true than yours or mine.

Swords into Plowshares

Apr 21, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Visitors who come to the Rock Island Arsenal with preconceived notions of stark, purely functional military architecture are surprised to find a good deal of attention to aesthetics.