This year marks the 16th Annual Henry Farnam Dinner.

Since 2004 we have met once a year, hoisted a toast to Henry Farnam and explored some aspect of the Mississippi River, railroads, bridges, the environment, our region, and how our local area affected the nation.

This year, at long last, we will not only toast Henry Farnam, but also celebrate the man and his work. After all, Farnam was the man who brought the railroad to the Mississippi River and then built the first rail bridge across Ol’ Man River, opening the West.

Farnam’s life and work will be reviewed by a group of experts at the 16th Annual Farnam Dinner Thursday, March 28. The event at the Radisson Hotel, 111 E. 2nd St., Davenport, begins with cocktails at 5 p.m., then dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the program at 7:30 p.m.

To make your reservation online, CLICK HERE.

Or, CLICK HERE to download the reservation form and then mail with your check (payable to River Action) to River Action, 822 E. River Dr., Davenport, IA 52803.

  • George Eaton will discuss Farnam’s early education and early work, including his work on the Erie Canal, the Michigan Central railroad, and the railroad leading to Chicago.
  • Gayle Rein will then turn our attention to Farnam’s leadership in building the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, the first to connect the East with the Mississippi, and the massive celebration afterward called the Grand Excursion (1854).
  • Curtis Roseman will then explore through talk and video Farnam’s achievement as the contractor for the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi, which connected Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa (1856) and the East to the West.
  • George Eaton will then sketch Farnam’s life after he constructed our bridge and returned to Connecticut.

As has become tradition, Dick Stahl, the Quad Cities' first poet laureate, will present a poem this year dedicated to Henry Farnam.

To make your reservation online, CLICK HERE.

Or, CLICK HERE to download the reservation form and then mail with your check (payable to River Action) to River Action, 822 E. River Dr., Davenport, IA 52803.

Contact Us

River Action, Inc.
822 E. River Drive
Davenport, Iowa 52803
Phone: (563) 322-2969
Email: riveraction@riveraction.org

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