Rock Island

Which U.S. president participated in the 1854 Grand Excursion?

CLICK HERE to find out which U.S. president participated in 1854 Grand Excursion.

In June 1854, more than 1,000 dignitaries from the East, including politicians, journalists, and business leaders, gathered at this very spot. The entourage included the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore.

The group was on the historic “Grand Excursion,” celebrating the arrival of the Rock Island Railroad, which was the first to reach the Mississippi River from the East.

How did Centennial Bridge get its name?

CLICK HERE to find out how Centennial Bridge got its name.

Right now you are standing in the heart of old Stephenson, which was the name of Rock Island’s first town plat in 1835. The town took on the name Rock Island when it was incorporated in 1841. It grew rapidly and prospered, due in large part to its location on the river. Boats carrying goods and passengers upstream stopped in Rock Island to take on pilots who would navigate the treacherous Rock Island rapids. After 1854, Rock Island was also was a major stop on a primary east-west railroad, the Rock Island Lines.

History of first railroad bridge crossing of the Mississippi River

A pictorial history of the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River and its three successors

by Curtis C. Roseman

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