Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. The zoo originally housed a pair of swans, but it has since grown to house over 1,000 animals from around the world.
Rock Island County, IL has a rich history dating back thousands of years to the time of Native American settlements. The Sauk and Meskwaki tribes were prominent in the area as they lived off the abundant resources of the Mississippi River. European settlement began in the late 18th century when French explorers arrived. The area became strategically important during the 19th century due to its location on the Mississippi River.

In 1816, the first permanent settlement was established in Rock Island County at the present-day location of Cordova. The region saw rapid growth during the mid-19th century with the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. This waterway connected the Illinois River to Lake Michigan, greatly boosting trade and commerce in the area.

The most significant historical event in Rock Island County was the establishment of Rock Island Arsenal in 1862. This military installation played a crucial role during the Civil War in supplying weaponry and training Union soldiers. After the war, the arsenal continued to expand and had a major influence on the local economy.

During the 20th century, Rock Island County faced challenges such as economic decline and population loss. The closure of various manufacturing facilities and the declining agricultural industry led to job losses and a decrease in population. However, the county has also seen positive developments with the growth of tourism, education, and healthcare sectors.

Today, Rock Island County continues to evolve and adapt to the changing economic and social landscape. The county's historical significance, stunning landscapes, and vibrant communities make it a unique destination for visitors and residents alike.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Rock Island County, Illinois.

  • 1673 - French explorers first arrive in the area
  • 1803 - United States acquires the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase
  • 1816 - The area becomes part of Illinois Territory
  • 1831 - Rock Island County is officially established
  • 1832 - Black Hawk War takes place in the county
  • 1848 - Formation of Rock Island, the county seat
  • 1856 - The first railroad is completed in the county
  • 1900 - Population of the county reaches nearly 50,000
  • 1917-1919 - Rock Island Arsenal plays a major role in World War I
  • 1927 - Mississippi River floods cause significant damage in the county
  • 1960s - Rock Island County experiences population decline due to industrial restructuring
  • 1985 - Deere & Company, a major employer in the county, announces layoffs