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John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois: Ag Business Past and Present

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Standing outside the John Deere Pavilion

Standing outside the John Deere Pavilion

Celebrating John Deere and Company

Years ago, my mother, aunt, and uncle visited the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois. Moline was right across the Mississippi River from Bettendorf, Iowa, where my aunt and uncle lived. Surprisingly, they had never visited this fantastic site, despite being so close to it. My uncle grew up on a farm and lived in the heartland all of his life.

Before traveling up to visit them from Houston, I searched what might be of interest to see. Since this was so closeby, it was an attraction that they also agreed might be of interest. It turned out to be much more than we expected!

John Deere Pavilion

This glass-enclosed 14,000 square foot pavilion contains so much to view and with which to interact. Guided tours or self-guided ones, the latter of which we chose to take, are informative and fun.

Some of these combines, excavators, bulldozers, tree harvesters, and more are vastly larger than I expected to see. Many of the wheels on these machines are taller than most humans! People can climb up provided stairways and sit in the cabs of some of these gigantic machines. The cabs are air-conditioned and have modern-day computerized technology.

Visitors could spend countless hours reading about the history of agriculture and what goes into feeding the ever-expanding world population. There are touch-screen displays, videos one can watch, and even interactive simulators to learn how to control some of the machines virtually. Kids can also have fun in the Discovery Zone.

This site is an attraction for people of all ages. A next-door gift shop also appeals to kids and adults. From toys to clothing and more, if you are a John Deere fan, you will find something to your liking.

John Deere

It is always fun learning about people and their companies and how it all came to be. In the case of John Deere, he was a blacksmith. In the early days of the 1800s, plowing of the land took place by hand. Horse-drawn plows aided the farmers with larger pieces of property. As a blacksmith, John Deere was continually repairing the cast-iron plows broken by the midwest's heavy and sticky soils.

Realizing that steel is more robust than cast iron, he created a steel plow dating back to 1837. The word spread from farmer to farmer, and he began manufacturing more and more of them. John Deere's invention became known as "The plow that broke the plains." His molds used in casting the steel plows became patented in 1864.

Charles Deere, John's son, took over the company's operations in 1852, and by 1868 it became known as Deere and Company. By 1912 the company was international. Today the company does billions of dollars worth of business around the world.

Numerous types of farming and other machinery types are now known worldwide for their sturdiness and well-built designs. John Deere insisted upon that from the very beginning.

Two things that I learned about him made me think highly of this man and his company.

  • They shared a patented safety rollover device at no cost with the world. Who knows how many lives that might have saved over the years from accidental deaths in rollover incidents?
  • During the Great Depression, instead of repossessing farm equipment from farmers when they could no longer make their payments, the John Deere company extended terms to the farmers. That made it possible for them to use the equipment until the depression had abated, and repayment became once again possible. That generated a stable base of loyal customers for generations to come.

So Much to See!

In this article's first video, you can view some of the massive machinery inside and outside of the John Deere Pavilion. You also see items in the extensive gift shop.

The video above shows more interactive exhibits on display and more of the equipment, antique, and up-to-date modern. One could spend hours in this place! There is so much to learn and absorb that I can understand why people go there repeatedly.

From the very first plow to lawnmowers, tractors, and heavy-duty forest equipment, see that and more in Moline, Illinois, at this great site.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 23, 2020:

Hi Devika,

Yes, John Deere tractors and other items are sold worldwide. I am glad you liked learning about this site in Moline, Illinois. I am so glad that we got to visit it.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 23, 2020:

Peggy a fantastic site. In South Africa John Deer tractors are popular on farms. I would love to visit this site to see for myself and have this unique experience. A well-written hub and interesting to know of this company.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 22, 2020:

Hi Mary,

I also have admiration for this company for those reasons I listed. Thanks for your comment, Mary. Stay well!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 22, 2020:

Hi Nithya,

Visiting the John Deere Pavilion is very educational. I was fascinated by everything one can learn while there. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Peggy, this is excellent information on a company we know and even invested in but not know much about what they stand for and not just their products. I like what they did in the depression. I have more admiration for them now.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 21, 2020:

I would love to visit the John Deere Pavilion. I would definitely spend hours on the interactive exhibits on display, it would be a fun and a learning experience. It would be great to see amazing machinery up close, thank you for this tour, enjoyed the visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 21, 2020:

Hi Denise,

I am happy to be able to show you this fascinating site in Moline, Illinois. Many people became very loyal to the John Deere company because of the quality of their machinery and also what they did during the Great Depression.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 21, 2020:

My family was farmers on a very small scale but we had John Deere equipment of all sorts including a riding lawnmower. Thanks for the visit I may never get to see in real life.



Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 20, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I was genuinely impressed when I read those two points about how the company approached business practices. Those practices have had long-lasting effects. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 19, 2020:

The pavilion sounds like an interesting place to visit. I was very impressed by the two points that made you think highly of the Deere company. I have the same opinion as you. The points suggest that the company was (and perhaps still is) a business that cared about people as well as making money.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

I'm glad this brought back childhood memories for you. Tractors have come a long way from the earlier versions!

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 19, 2020:

I grew up riding on tractors. This story brings back childhood memories. Thank you for this information it is very valuable.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

I was astonished at how much I enjoyed visiting the John Deere Pavilion. If I were ever in that area again, post-Covid days, I would consider going again. It is hard to absorb all of the information that is presented in just one visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

From what you wrote, I know your family would enjoy visiting this attraction. It is fascinating seeing how farming equipment, and more, have changed over the years. I always thought of John Deere relating to tractors and farming equipment. I was not aware of them producing other things like those massive tree harvesters, etc.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Heidi,

It is my pleasure to be able to show this site to you and others. Interestingly, my uncle went to work for International Harvester as a businessman to earn his livelihood. They were also active participants in the farming industry in the midwest and probably, elsewhere.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Farming has come a long way since the early days. I am sure you would love visiting this place! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi Bruce,

I am glad that this brought back some memories for you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 19, 2020:

The John Deere Pavilion looks like a very interesting place to visit. I probably wouldn't think of visiting there but when you read a good review like this it changes your thinking. The fact that he made a steel plow way back in 1837 is amazing. Thanks for this review, Peggy.

Lorna Lamon on September 19, 2020:

My uncles and cousins frequently visit similar places just to look at farming equipment. Even though my Dad was a Vet he used to enjoy

not only this time with family but also the amazing machinery, past and present. I think my family would have felt very much at home here. John Deere certainly had the right approach to business and from your comments was also a decent human being. Great article Peggy.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 19, 2020:

Yep, we got lots of the heavy and farm equipment folks here in Illinois! John Deere, Navistar, Caterpillar. A lot of those companies are facing some big challenges with the economy. But these have been key players in making America what it is, especially the ag business.

This would be a cool site to visit. Thanks for sharing one of Illinois' businesses!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 19, 2020:

That would be a fun place to visit since I like all things farming. Thanks for the brief tour, Peggy! There's nothing quite like sitting on a piece of farm machinery on a summer's day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

My uncle, who had grown up on a farm, was very interested in what was on display. He was particularly impressed with modern technology now used in these gigantic machines. I was equally impressed and did not have farming in my background, other than having older relatives that had grown up on farms.

Bruce on September 19, 2020:

Several of my relatives were Iowa farmers and many of them had John Deere equipment. Thanks for this enlightening article.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 19, 2020:

How neat! I know my dad would love to visit this place. He grew up on a farm. I especially like the two learnings that you shared. It shows the company’s values in action.

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