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022818 Scottish Rite Cathedral 117

Looking out from one of two cloak rooms located just off the main entrance and lobby of the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Moline.

Good timing pays off.

Expecting a quick lunch-time tour of the Scottish Rite Cathedral, Quad-City Times columnist Barb Ickes and photo editor Kevin Schmidt got more than they bargained for.

In the elaborate dressing rooms for the cathedral's centerpiece — its 620-seat theater — the newspaper pair ran into the building's longtime maintenance man. He and a second Mason and Scottish Rite member co-hosted a two-hour tour of the nearly 90-year-old building.

Dozens of doors were opened, revealing hidden passageways and seemingly endless access to the giant auditorium and the building's crevices.

Shortly after the tour, one of the new owners, Adam Bain, made a surprise discovery. While moving a large cabinet, he found a hidden tunnel. But this news came as no surprise to a pair who spent enough time exploring the old cathedral to walk away with a strong suspicion that it holds many secrets.

The latest offering in Ickes' Off Limits Places series is Sunday's Big Story.

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