Historic Quad Cities Homes Celebrate the Season

Several historic homes in the Quad Cities region will be decorated for the holidays and open for public tours and special events during the first weekend of December, each representing the architectural beauty of a different era.

Moline’s Deere-Wiman House, Overlook, was designed in 1872 by Chicago architect William Le Baron Jenny for John Deere’s son, Charles. The house still contains much of its original furnishings including a unique wall covering in the dining room which is a mixture of stencil and paint on canvas. Underground tunnels allowed staff to avoid inclement weather and also provided access to an indoor swimming pool and shed.


From December 3 to 5, Overlook will be adorned with decorations from the Victorian era, including a 1930 Lionel train set. Those who make a visit will receive a take-out gift bag containing material with which they can create an ornament to remind them of their visit. Children in attendance can also choose a book to take home.

The Christmas 2021 event at the Deere-Wiman house is free, with a timed ticket system allowing guests to tour the house. Tour dates and times can be selected on butterworthcenter.com. Customers must print their registration confirmation and present it at the door. Hours are 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. from December 3 to 4 and noon to 3:30 p.m. on December 5.

Quarters One is a mansion on Rock Island’s Arsenal Island that once housed Rock Island Arsenal’s most senior officer, with plenty of room for official functions. Construction of the house on the largest island in the upper Mississippi was completed in 1872.

The mansion was the second largest federal residence in the United States, behind the White House, and hosted such dignitaries as Charles Lindbergh in 1927 and, in 1996, King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Quarters One will be open for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. December 4. Reservations are required by calling 309-782-5890. Visitors must access the arsenal using the Moline Gate entrance, and a U.S. photo ID will be required for anyone 16 years of age or older.

Colonel Davenport’s home, also on Arsenal Island, will be open for tours from noon to 4 p.m. December 4. The gift shop will be open and photos with the historic sleigh can be taken.

Colonel Davenport’s House was built in 1833 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first houses in the area to remain. A guided tour will showcase artifacts from the early to mid-1800s that reflect the way of life of the early settlers George Davenport and his family.

George Davenport arrived in 1816 with the United States Army to establish Fort Armstrong on Arsenal Island. He stayed and developed business relationships with local Native Americans, started a fur trading business, and helped settle and develop the Quad Cities. Visit davenporthouse.org for more information.

The Hauberg Estate, built in 1909, was designed by Chicago architect – and contemporary to Frank Lloyd Wright – Robert C. Spencer with the estate’s gardens designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. It features the Prairie School style and a tulip pattern.

The house was built for the heiress Susanne Denkmann, the youngest daughter of Frederick Denkmann, founding partner of the Weyerhauser-Denkmann timber empire. In 1911 she married John Hauberg, a farm boy turned lawyer, and they became the community’s main philanthropists.

The Hauberg Estate on Rock Island will host the Free Winter Blooming Open Houses, when the mansion is decorated for the holidays on December 5. 3:00 p.m. There will be crafts for the kids and hot chocolate and cookies in the Carriage House. For more details, visit haubergestate.org.

About Paul Cox

Paul Cox

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