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The John Deere Pavilion – Moline, Illinois

Our visit to the John Deere Pavilion was special to us because it was my birthday, and John Deere is my great-great-great Grandfather.

I grew up knowing about this legacy, but without much knowledge of the machinery that bears my ancestor’s name. That was certain to change. The pavilion has everything from one of Deere’s original steel plows to the most massive heavy equipment.

The John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois

My wife wanted pictures of me with all of it. So I stood beside antique tractors, gawked at earth movers, pointed at implements, and marveled at a prototype concept machine for cutting trees that looked like it was straight out of Star Wars.

A John Deere prototype concept machine for cutting trees that looked like it was straight out of Star Wars

I even climbed into the high tech cab of a combine the size of a small town. Then, the moment I’d been waiting for, the birthday boy got to try his hand on one of the heavy equipment simulators.

The idea was to bulldoze dirt into a marked area, but my skills were less than up to the task, guess the ancestral skills didn’t get passed down.

I ended up digging a big hole, backing the dozer into the pit, and then trying to escape the construction area by plowing through a fence. Luckily, the program was smart enough to thwart my attempt.

The legacy of John Deere at the John Deere Pavilion, Moline Illinois

Adjacent to the pavilion, The John Deere Store has all the green and gold any fan, or kinfolk, could dream of.

Tons of apparel, such as the classic hats and jackets, but also toys, collectibles, books, videos, posters and more.

The John Deere Store in Moline, Illinois

I was immediately taken back to my childhood, when I spotted a cast iron pedal tractor just like the one I used to ride up and down my grandmother’s driveway.

About The Author:

Gypsy Nesters

Gypsy Nesters

David and Veronica James have spent the last thirty eight years together, ever since a boy from the heartland met a Valley girl on the west coast and took off to Nashville for a wild ride through parenthood and the music business. After sending three kids out into the big wide world they set out to find it for themselves, selling everything and taking off in a beat up old motorhome. Along the way they accidentally created the top travel blog GypsyNester.com and authored the book Going Gypsy: One Couple's Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All (Skyhorse 2015). In the past ten years they have visited and written about fifty seven countries on six continents. They have no plans to slow down.

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