´¯`•. June 05, 2017

Illinois:  John Deere Headquarters

On our third day in Illinois, we got up, packed camp (in the drizzle), and were grateful to Yehovah Elohim that it was going to rain on a driving day.  Who cares if it’s wet when we’re warm and snug with good music in the car?  And not only that, but our first stop of the day was indoors:  John Deere Headquarters!


Now the thing is, there are TWO John Deere places to visit in Moline, IL.  The first is John Deere Headquarters, and the second is the John Deere Pavilion.  I asked people at Starved Rock which we should go to, and everyone answered the same:  “Well, it’s up to you!”  That’s… not helpful.  We decided on Headquarters, because I heard the architecture was stunning, and because someone said it was ‘more of the history’.  This isn’t true (come to find out).   But Headquarters is FAR quieter, because it’s not ‘attraction’ based.  The ‘fun stuff’ is at the pavilion – like simulators to drive, and games for kids.  I felt bad, but my kids were happy coming here (or said it, to make me feel better?)

Jans was our guide, and he spend an hour and a half taking us through the history of the business.  And was surprised my kids stood still and were fascinated with it.  They let him wax poetical about his passion (history).  He was a really wonderful guide.

John Deere was an interesting man.  He’d wanted to be a blacksmith, because a) that was a warm place, and he was from Vermont, which was cold, come winter, and b) because it was warm, it was where people went to warm up, so it was fun place to be.  So he apprenticed, but burned down his first two blacksmith shops.  So he packed his family off to relatives and went out west to Illinois, working odd jobs as a blacksmith at factories, on the trains…

Then one day he realized that Illinois dirt was too clumpy for the kinds of plows that they had, at the time.  So he tried something new – using STEEL, instead of iron.  It worked like a charm, and a friend of his went into business with him, selling better plows.  The only problem Deere had was that he was practically illiterate, so he had to leave the finances and orders to his friend, which made him a little nervous.  But it all worked out in the end… and as they say, the rest is history!

There were others who manufactured and improved agricultural tools and machines:  Allis Chalmers, Ford, Harvester… but the only one left, today, is John Deere.

World Headquarters IS an architectural marvel.  It’s made out of I-beams, steel, and glass.  ALL of it.  It’s incredible.  And earthy, rusty, weird, but very kewl.

There were plenty of tractors for us to climb up inside of.

Look at all of the bolts holding that thing on!!

Farming is hi-tech stuff, anymore!!

And John Deere makes more than just tractors – construction machines, too!

Oooh… big implement of green growing goodness!!

Here’s a nearly-can-see-her pictures of me.  And Lydia.
It’s apparently the best we can do.

Even after we left, we kept seeing Deere, everywhere!
This was road repair, as we were leaving Moline for Iowa! 

And as we made our way back from Iowa thru Moline, and down into Illinois.
They sure do love their Deeres!


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