Historical Mural in the Quad Cities

Our walking route today to Davenport’s farmers’ market took us through downtown Rock Island and past a large, colorful mural depicting the first rail crossing of the Mississippi in 1856. Bill Gustafson, now a teacher at Rock Island High School (and daughter’s homeroom teacher), painted the mural in 2006 to mark the 150th anniversary of the crossing. The City of Rock Island commissioned the work. The mural measures 55 by 45 feet and required 40 gallons of paint. Because of its dramatic composition, luminous colors, inclusion of transportation devices, and historical significance, the mural is to my eye the best in the Quad Cities.

Gustafson has done several other murals in the Quad cites, notably the City of Mills in the courtyard across from Dead Poets Espresso, a quaint downtown Moline coffeehouse. I’ll post a photo of that soon.


Mural today.


Mural being painted in 2006.


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