This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Credit Island in Davenport, as part of the War of 1812, and the city is holding a free celebration on Saturday.|
The Battle of Credit Island on Sept. 4 and 5, 1814, was one of the westernmost and last battles of the War of 1812. The British were allied with the Native Americans, including Sauk warrior Black Hawk. The Americans were under the command of Major Zachary Taylor—the future 12th president (who held the office in 1849-50).
The Americans anchored on nearby Pelican Island, while the British troops under the direction of Lieut. Duncan Graham were on Credit Island, with the Native Americans at the established trading post. The next day, the Americans were surprised and outnumbered, according to a history from the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. Three months later, the war was over as well.
In February 2013, the Davenport City Council voted to pay Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group Inc., of Jackson, Mich., for an archaeological survey and historical study of the War of 1812 battle site at Credit Island, 2200 W. River Drive. The city would like to see the 420-acre island listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the CCRG report, the Americans "never gained control of the Upper Mississippi region until after the war had ended." Credit Island has had several names through the years, with its current name coming from the island's use as a fur trading post in the early 1800s, according to River Action.
On Saturday, the public is invited to the bicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Credit Island, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The free events begin at 8:30 a.m. with a guided nature walk on the island. Starting at 9 a.m., exhibitor booths, historical information panels, and bounce houses will open.
From 10 a.m. to noon, there will be presentation of distinguished guests, a narrative description of the battle, proclamation reading, and unveiling of memorial markers. Then at noon, you can enjoy a lacrosse demonstration from Lightning Stick Lacrosse, which is helping it make a comeback in Dakota communities. Lacrosse is the oldest game in North America.
The city of Davenport has owned the island since 1918, and is having the damaged lodge rebuilt, at a cost of $1.49 million, by Swanson Construction, Bettendorf. Insurance should cover the restoration of the lodge, which was severely damaged by fire in May of 2013.
For more information on Credit Island Park, visit cityofdavenportiowa.com/parks.
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