The John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo opens to the public today. Project manager Dawn Hendershot says it took 4 years to plan the structure which features 19 tractors from different eras and more than two dozen interactive exhibits. “We had to renovate the building and then we needed to develop an experience,” Hendershot says. “That takes time, the research, the fabrication, the exhibits. We needed to make sure that what we did lived up to those expectations.”
Hendershot says the 27,000 square foot museum is located near downtown at the original Waterloo Tractor Works site. It includes multiple galleries, a retail store and a 100-seat auditorium.
She says, “They’ll get to see examples of tractors, the engine design and manufacturing and how the products here have had a global impact.”
A grand opening is set for the spring. Quad Cities-based Deere is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer. The Waterloo museum is the latest of Deere’s company-operated attractions. The John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois, features the birthplace of John Deere, while the Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois, includes a visitor’s center and the company headquarters.