It’s a sight you grow accustomed to in the Midwest, the ubiquitous green and yellow farm machinery dotting fields, tooling along rural roads or, in the case of the antique models, brilliantly restored for local parades. John Deere is an international company that began with one man, Mr. John Deere, a blacksmith in Illinois.
Nothing Runs Like A Deere
John Deere created the first commercially successful steel plow- one that the rich, moist topsoil of the Midwest wouldn’t stick to- which made the farmers more productive. Today you can visit the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois and get a first had look at how far that blacksmith shop has come and the levels of productivity those green and yellow “factories on wheels” are capable of.
Visiting the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois
Looking toward Iowa across the Mississippi River, the John Deere Pavilion is very easy to find. You’ll find free parking nearby and, usually, a tour bus or two filled with retired farmers who will share their memories of their first John Deere tractor if you only ask.
A few beautifully restored tractors greet you as you enter the glass-walled pavilion, but it is the new behemoth machines that will astound you. Sitting in one of these massive pieces of machinery you wonder just how long it takes to learn to drive one. GPS systems that allow the machine to self-drive, others that monitor the soil and know when it needs more-or less- of a nutrient, combines that do the work it took three contrivances to do when my daddy farmed. I felt like I was sitting in the cockpit of an airplane- and almost as high up!
After the awe of the machinery has depleted a bit, you notice the John Deere timeline along the wall. Large images line the wall above the timeline, giving a visual reminder to just how far farm technology has come in such a short time.
When the kids get antsy you can take them to the children’s area where they will find toys, coloring, a “guess the grain” game and fun photo opportunities.
You’ll also find some friendly John Deere employees on hand to answer your questions.
After you finish in the pavilion make sure to visit the John Deere Store. You’ll find everything from clothing to keepsakes- and more toy tractors than you’ve seen anywhere.
The John Deere Pavilion is open daily; admission is free.
Photos by Jody HalstedJody Halsted loves introducing readers
to the wonders of the Midwest at her
Family Rambling website.