For whom is Marquis Harbor named?
One of the best ways to experience the Mississippi River is on the bow of a boat. You can truly get a sense for the beauty, power and importance of America’s greatest natural resource. This sentiment was shared by Frank and Virginia Marquis, avid local boaters for whom Moline’s Marquis Harbor is named.
In the early 1950’s, the Marquis’ urged the City of Moline to consider creating a boat harbor on the Mississippi River where local boaters could dock during the summer months and help promote a vibrant riverfront with great public access.
Money from a federal grant was allocated for the project and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proceeded with dredging a harbor and constructing the protective outer revetment. The agreement with the Corps originally stated the harbor would be dredged periodically by the Corps at no expense to the city. That issue no longer stands, and the city is now responsible for maintaining the depth of the harbor. The city leases the nearby restaurant and the marina but retains ownership of both sites.
Frank Marquis’ place of business was within site of his beloved river. He was vice president and treasurer of the Parr Engineering firm located at 211 53rd Street, just a few blocks east of the harbor. The Parr Instrument Company dates back to1899 and designs and manufacturers laboratory instruments and apparatus for testing the heat level of fuels and chemical reactions. Now, after over 100 years in business, Parr instrument continues to maintain its reputation of producing top quality laboratory equipment sought after around the world, right here, near the banks of the Mississippi River in Moline.
The Marquis family continued their interest and use of the city’s harbor and parkway for many years and were generous with their donations towards its upkeep and improvements.