Near Bettendorf in Scott County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Historic Davenport / Interstate 80 Bridge
In 1829, William C. Redfield declared that Davenport lay opposite the future terminus of a “geographical trunk-line route” between the Atlantic and the Mississippi. Nine years later, in 1838, the Iowa Sun and Davenport and Rock Island News declared Davenport was destined to be the “Queen City of the Far West.” A score of early travelers shared this enthusiasm for rich soil, healthy climate and strategic location of Davenport on the west bank of the Mississippi opposite Old Fort Armstrong.
Little wonder that in 1836, George Davenport and Antoine LeClaire, together with six associates should acquire and lay out a 36-block
The forecast of William Redfield was fulfilled when the Iron Horse of the Rock Island railroad slaked its thirst in the cold waters of the Mississippi on February 22, 1854. It was the first railroad to link the Atlantic with the Father of Waters. The Queen City of Iowa was standing on the brink of greatness.
Interstate 80 bridges the Mississippi at one of its most historic points. Here the prehistoric red man hunted, fished, fought and died. Through this region roamed such proud warriors as Black Hawk and Keokuk. Through this same area ranged Zebulon Pike, Jefferson Davis, Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott and Robert E. Lee.
William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody was born on a farm not far from this overlook in 1846, the same year Iowa was admitted as a State.
The first bridge across the Mississippi was erected between Rock Island and Davenport in 1856. Five other bridges were built in this area prior to the completion of Interstate 80 Bridge in 1966 –– the first Mississippi River bridge constructed under the direction of the Iowa State Highway Commission.
Erected 1966 by State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa State Highway Commission
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #12 Zachary Taylor, and the Iowa - State Historical Society of Iowa series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1858.
Location. 41° 35.744′ N, 90° 29.462′ W. Marker is near Bettendorf, Iowa, in Scott County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 80 at milepost 300,, 1.9 miles east of Interstate 74, on the right when traveling east. The marker is located at Rest Area 13 Eastbound, 1.4 miles east of Exit 298 on Interstate 80. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bettendorf IA 52722, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Historic Davenport / Interstate 80 Bridge (approx. Site of Civil War Camp Roberts (approx. 4.6 miles away); Camp Roberts (approx. 4.6 miles away); Marion G. Crandell (approx. 4.6 miles away); Oakdale Cemetery Historic District (approx. 4.7 miles away); Camp McClellan (approx. 5.2 miles away); Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke House (approx. 5½ miles away); George Copeland House (approx. 5.7 miles away).
Regarding Historic Davenport / Interstate 80 Bridge. Rock Island, home of the present day U.S. Army Rock Island Arsenal, referenced on the marker has been renamed Arsenal Island since the marker was erected.
Also see . . .
1. Local History - Quad City Memory(Submitted on July 27, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
2. Internet Archive - Upper Mississippi Sketches: The Battle of Campbell's Island. (Submitted on July 27, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
1. Possible removal of markers.
I visited this rest area March 7, 2021. I did not find these markers in this location. From what I am reading on the Iowa Department of Transportation website, this rest area will be closed. There is an Illinois rest area going east not far from here and the decision is based on location and usage. It is not a very pretty spot or well maintained.
— Submitted March 8, 2021, by Susan Van Den Bosch of Genoa City, Wisconsin.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,424 times since then and 39 times this year. Last updated on July 27, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 26, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 27, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo showing marker is no longer there or status of possible relocation. • Can you help?