DAVENPORT, Iowa – Back in 1814, Credit Island was not a peaceful park. It was fighting ground during the War of 1812.
The spotlight on history will return to the island Aug. 30 with a commemoration of the Battle of Credit Island fought Sept. 4-5, 1814, 200 years ago. This modern historical moment will be more friendly.
During the War of 1812, Native Americans and the British were allied against Americans. Among those on the British side at Credit Island was Black Hawk of the Sauk. Americans were led by Maj. Zachary Taylor, who would become the 12th president of the U.S.
Those Americans came up the Mississippi River in their gunboats to get control of the Upper Mississippi from the British. The force dropped anchor near Credit Island, which held Lt. Duncan Graham of the British Army and Native Americans at a trading post.
A clash followed. With the help of British artillery and a large number of Native Americans, the Americans were forced to retreat. Just 3 months later, the war was finished.
In 2014, the action on the island has a timetable. A guided nature walk will take place at 8:30 a.m., followed by the opening of exhibitor booths at 9. Along with the booths will be bounce houses and historical information panels.
When 10 a.m. rolls around, a narrative description of the event will be read and a memorial marker will be unveiled.
More action will come in a lacrosse demonstration by Lightning Stick Lacrosse of the Dakota. The game, said to be the oldest in North America, is played with a rubber ball and lacrosse sticks. The demonstration will begin at noon.
Credit Island Park consists of 420 acres along the Mississippi. When it’s not part of a historic moment, it offers a golf course; walking, biking, boating and fishing opportunities; and several sports fields. It’s also known as a good place to do some eagle watching.
The island’s past includes a name change to Suburban Island, the location of an amusement park in the 1890s, and its purchase by the city of Davenport in 1918.
This is a good time to become familiar with an 1812 battle near the Sauk Valley and to enjoy a summer day along the Mississippi where Black Hawk once trod.
Prepare for Battle
What: 200th anniversary of the Battle of Credit Island
When: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30
Where: 2200 W. River Drive, Davenport, Iowa
More info: cityofdavenportiowa.com/park or call the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800. Also visit visitquadcities.com for information about the area.