Skip to main content

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

I live in Houston and love writing reviews of the local restaurants and stores I visit with family and friends.

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