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Codfish Hollow

Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa, Iowa

The May-June issue of Midwest Living magazine features a glowing write-up about the barn-turned-live-music-venue in the middle of a Jackson County pasture.

"Codfish Hollow, they call it," Timothy Meinch writes. "But Wonderland feels more fitting."

Codfish Hollow is, indeed, a one-of-a-kind attraction, appropriate for all ages, and the season is going on now through October.

And while you're in the neighborhood, Midwest Living suggests several other stops including Maquoketa Caves State Park, Field of Dreams and the Big Grove Brewery in "teeny Solon (that) serves standout bar food with its brews."

In Cedar Rapids, the magazine recommends the Czech Village, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and Cobble Hiill restaurant featuring Parisian gnocchi (dumplings).

In Dubuque, Fenelon Place Elevator Co., the Hotel Julien, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and two breweries, Dimensional Brewing Co. and 7 Hills Brewing, make the Meredith magazine's list.

All good suggestions for close-to-home adventures.

And speaking of, my adventure-loving sister-in-law Nancy there's also new zip line adventure in Dubuque she wants to try. I looked it up, and found that Sky Tours, at the YMCA Union Park Camp, offers nine ziplines on a two-hour guided tour of the park. The website skitourszipline.com has more information.

RI COUNTY COURTHOUSE BATTLE ISN'T OVER YET: ... and other notes on historic preservation.

In recognition of National Historic Preservation Month, today's section is largely devoted to preservation efforts in Rock Island, as recognized by the Rock Island Preservation Society.

I love writing these stories because I love old things. Old things are part of the fabric of our community. They generally are attractive to look at. And because natural resources already have been expended to build them, preserving them for continued use saves us from depleting more resources.

Especially laudatory this year are the efforts that have gone into publicly owned properties — Douglas Park, the Hauberg Civic Center and (lo and behold) the fountains at the Talbot Memorial (Centennial) Bridge. They work again!

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I think it's safe to say that none of these good things would have happened without a change of leadership in City Hall. Kudos to Mayor Mike Thoms and Parks & Recreation Director John Gripp who worked with residents who wanted to save things important to them and who offered city support.

Meanwhile, grassroots efforts continue to save the Rock Island County Courthouse. There's a stay in demolition due to litigation, and supporters are trying their hardest to convince county board members that they can, and should, re-vote their decision to demolish the building.

Supporters are pursuing a rally for June to show the Quad-Cities and all who are listening that there is sizable public support to save this building.

Meanwhile Two, my heart aches as I drive through the old neighborhoods of Davenport and see once-beautiful houses crumbling through neglect. I can't see inside, but I know from all the houses I have toured through the years that they likely are packed with beautiful features.

Even more disheartening are the green spaces where crumbling houses have been torn down. The entire south side of the 200 block of East 12th Street, for example, is nothing but grass. A year ago, people lived there. This, to me, is a sign of failure.

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