Karen Fischlein, who lives in the Davenport’s 3rd Ward, left no doubt Tuesday how she feels about saving the burned-out Credit Island Lodge.

To a round of applause from about 80 people who joined her at the Roosevelt Community Center to hear what city officials had to say about the future of the lodge, Fischlein opened up.

“If you can find the money for a bridge to nowhere, and for those ungodly planters in the middle of River Drive, you can save the Credit Island Lodge,” she said. “No matter what, there’s money to be had somewhere.”

The lodge was severely damaged May 2 by an early-morning fire. No cause has been found, but Fire Marshal Mike Hayman said the blaze has been ruled accidental. 

Tuesday's meeting was arranged by Alderman Nathan Brown, whose 1st Ward includes Credit Island. Many in the audience let Brown, Mayor Bill Gluba, City Administrator Craig Malin and Public Works director Mike Clarke know that they want everything possible done to save the lodge.

Brown began the meeting by quoting Malin, who told aldermen at last week's city council meeting that because the building is in the floodplain, if repair costs exceed half of its assessed value of $613,500, the lodge will have to meet federal flood law regulations or flood insurance for the entire community could be jeopardized.

Clarke told the audience there are three engineering options: elevate the building seven to eight feet, protect it with some type of floodwall or berm, or open up the lower floor and let the river run through it.

John Frueh, chair of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, offered another option: Seek a waiver from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, because the lodge existed before the floodplain was designated.

Sara Childers said it may be beneficial monetarily to allow battlefield excavation that is being conducted on the historic island to be completed, “so we can see if we can tap into federal dollars.” Credit Island is the site of one of the western-most battles in the War of 1812.

She added that the building could be made into an interpretive center for Native American history on the island

Mike Peppers, a member of the Friends of Credit Island organization, told the audience that, ““We need to save the building, and let people know how the money is spent. What we need is people with a positive attitude willing to get their hands dirty and get this rebuilt.”

(12) comments


Ever since I've heard that nickname "Bridge to Nowhere,or of the planters, I have to chuckle of the narrow vision of some residents in Davenport, If I understand correctly, those were built on some grants, which paid for most of it, city picked up the rest, now I could be wrong, but if the city didn't use that money by a certain time, the money just went to the next city on the list that had been declined, because of they didn't get their grant app in on time, or the way they structured there app grant for it, re-applied, got approved if there was money left, or some city decided not to go ahead with their plans, I think the city was thinking of the future once that ugly riverboat was gone, so the Bridge to Nowhere, would go to a waterfront area, that you could enjoy, without the hazards of traffic, could stop and enjoy the great view.


Davenport should just put up a ferris wheel in its place.


Rumor has it there was an amusement park there at one time...long, long time ago.

Jack S

........not a rumor Asylum ................they even had a rollor coaster..............I believe it was before the Schuetzen Park rollor coaster...........


Hold on to the past.


No. Cut the loss and walk away. It will save money by not having to protect it from the flood every year.


The lodge was being used for all kinds of events since the first floor was renovated in 2009. The second floor had some offices for the Parks Dept. and storage areas. Friends of Credit Island conducts several major events each year that are staged out of the Lodge. It was available to be rented for parties, receptions and meetings, etc., and was being used several times each month during the year and its use was increasing as more and more people heard the Lodge was available.
As to the "harbor", which is really a backwater slough, the State of Iowa caused most of the siltation problem starting in 1957, when it changed the flow of Blackhawk Creek to build US 61 thru that area. Until that time, the creek emptied into the slough near the entrance to Credit Island. The state filled the old creek bed to build the highway and cut a new channel that points directly at Credit Island and that causes a lot of the problems. Yes, the causeway for many years contributed to the problems, but that changed after 1993, when the city installed two large culverts under the roadway. Sadly, because of all the illegal dumping and industrial dumping in the areas north of the highway, all the mud and silt in the area is contaminated with heavy metals. Any material dredged from the slough would have to be hauled to an approved EPA landfill site.


Thank you for that information, I always wondered why I heard there was an amusement park there at one time, and why it floods every year.


Rebuild a lodge that was empty and unused anyway? Crazy.


I agree....Absolutely crazy....That would be sort of like building a bridge to no-where.


There was a bike/canoe/kayak rental store, the old golf pro shop, if I remember right. The original story mentioned that the city was helping people that had reserved it for receptions, meetings, whatever else to help them find other places.


Unlerss the finally dredge out the Harbor anything they do at Credit Island is a complete waste of money because it won't be an island in another 25 years .... And we'll have a 2 million dollar bike bridge across a mud puddle

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