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Credit Island History

Because Credit Island has been so popular for more than 150 years, the lodge should be re-built following this month's fire. That's according to local historian Karen Peterson, who's also program director for the Antoine LeClaire House Historical Interpretive Center in Davenport. Peterson says Davenport bought Credit Island from a private company in 1918, and built the current lodge as a dance pavillion in 1922. It was the height of the jazz age.

"This was the height of the Streckfus riverboats which cleverly took the musicians from Chicago who were blues musicians, and mixed them together with the New Orleans jazz musicians and invented a new kind of Mississippi River jazz. And they spread it from New Orleans to Minneapolis on those Streckfus boats. Davenport was ground zero for spreading that history."

Following a renovation by the city two years ago, Peterson says the lodge became a very popular location for weddings, banquets, and reunions.

"And I think people are going to gravitate there. I think they're going to want their building back no matter what the cost. It has survived all these years since 1922 and all of the floods. Even with less protection than we recently had, it's survived."

Even if the lodge is not re-built, she believes Credit Island in Davenport will continue attracting local residents - for its views of the river, the bike path, for picnics, the disc golf course, and for bird watching.

(photo-an old postcard of the Credit Island lodge, courtesty of Karen Peterson)