Q. There was a plane crash in the early 1960s in the area around Green Acres community center in Davenport. I have been told it occurred on a foggy day. Would you have any information on the crash? — Mark, Davenport
A. There was a plane on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1961, which seems to match the incident you describe, according to an article published in The Daily Times on Thursday, Feb. 23, 1961. Two men from Wisconsin died in the crash, and 20 to 30 Green Acres teenagers who been attending a dance at the public hall escaped injury by a matter of minutes, the article said.
Foul weather was cited as the main reason for the crash of the private twin-engine Piper Apache into the old Green Acres fire station, which had been converted into a public hall. Mechanical failure also may have been a contributing factor, the article said.
"Al Hildebrant said he had chaperoned a teenage dance there until less than a half hour before the aircraft hit and exploded," the article said. "He said he sent between 20 and 30 youngsters home at 9 p.m. because of the bad weather. Usually they remain at the old station to 10 o'clock. The plane crashed at 9:25 p.m.," the article said.
"The adverse weather was also responsible for the presence here of two Federal Aviation Agency inspectors, Harold Hartley, supervising inspector, and his assistant, Gerald Abler," the article said.
Hartley and Abler were trying to get to their home office in Cedar Rapids but had to land Wednesday (Feb. 22, 1961) at Quad-City Airport and go to a Davenport hotel.
"Hartley said results of his preliminary investigation at the scene, preceding the Civil Aeronautics Board study today (Thursday, Feb. 23, 1961) indicated the plane had clipped a tree and utility wires just east of Pine Street (Highway 150) at West Forty-ninth Street, gouged a lawn in front of a home there, then slammed across the road into the front of the fire station," according to the article.
Small parts of the plane were found in the front yard of the Iver Iversen home, where the plane dug up the lawn.
"We were just plain scared when we heard the explosion and saw the flames," Mrs. Iversen told The Times. "The plane just missed hitting our house."
To view original coverage of the plane crash in The Daily Times, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes.
Q. Who owns the property at 45 McClellan Boulevard, Davenport? — Davenport reader
A. According to information on the Scott County Assessor's website, the deed holders are listed as Vickie Anne Palmer Pruter and Donald E. Pruter. The property, also known as Oak Knoll, was built by lumber baron, John J. Reimers and has an interesting history. Scenes from "An American Love," starring Brooke Shields were filmed there in 1991. The former owner, Toofe Rizk, Davenport, was reluctant at first to allow filming on the property. After then-Davenport Mayor Thom Hart approached him about the use of the location, he granted permission, Rizk said. Rizk sold the property in 2003.
For more on Brooke Shields in "An American Love," visit qctimes.com/askthetimes.