News about the Quad Cities and surrounding region.

Reverend Hummer

Mar 11, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Like most other idealistic young men and women, new ministers go out to their calls with visions of being good shepherds to their flocks. That was certainly true of the Reverend Michael Hummer who came to organize and pastor a Presbyterian church in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1840.

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

There it is, on the first page of the scrapbook. It may be a Congregational church in Geneseo, or a Baptist church in Burlington, or the Presbyterians in Maquoketa, the small clapboard white rectangle of a building is almost identical.

Conrad Bergendoff

Mar 9, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

During the Golden Age of steam boating on the Upper Mississippi River, no job was more critical than that performed by the rapids pilots who were brought on board to take boats safely up or down the treacherous fourteen miles of Rock Island Rapids between LeClaire and Davenport, Iowa. The skill and knowledge of these forty to fifty men has become legendary.

Steamboat/Horse Race

Mar 8, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Have you ever noticed how we always measure the speed of an animal against a horse? A horse can outrun a human, but a cheetah can outrun a horse, and so on. In 1836, a steamboat making a run from Rock Island upriver to Galena found out where it belonged on this scale.

The Cities - Pgm #1115

Mar 6, 2021

Spencer Square

Mar 5, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Archeologists have shown us how often a prime piece of real estate is used over and over again by newer civilizations. South of here, where the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers meet, at least eight separate civilizations lie piled atop each other.

Muscatine is Heaven

Mar 4, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Those baseball players who momentarily confused Iowa with Heaven in the movie, A Field of Dreams, were not the first to do so. A hundred years earlier, the same thought helped George W. Van Horn of Muscatine rest easy on his death bed.

Bishop Hill

Mar 3, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Do you suppose there is something in the American air that turns our visionaries bi-focal? While English gurus sell all that they have, dress their followers in white, and climb a hill to await the second coming, our Utopianists have always kept one hand on the plow, turning a dollar or two between prayers. The Shakers danced themselves into a celibate religious frenzy, but they weren't above inventing the idea of mail order and selling seed in packages.

State Grant for New YWCA

Mar 2, 2021

The state of Illinois has given a major boost to the YWCA of the Quad Cities and its plans for a new building. It's announced a grant for 597,000 dollars for the project in downtown Rock Island - one of eleven capital development projects across the state.

YWCA President and CEO Julie Larson says the money will pay for site preparation - in the 17-hundred block of 5th Avenue, the former location of Zimmerman Honda.


Mar 2, 2021

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Buffalo Bill Cody, the Wild West showman, was fond of saying to Eastern reporters, "I stood between savagery and civilization most my whole life." He should have stood near the joining of the Rock and Mississippi Rivers, the site of one of the largest Indian villages in North America. Here, he would have found a clear contrast between the savage and the civilized.