Davenport

What reptiles and amphibians can be found at Nahant Marsh?

Numerous reptiles and amphibians call Nahant Marsh their home.

Chorus frogs are the first to begin singing in the spring, their call sounds similar to a person running their fingers over a fine-tooth comb. They can be found breeding in the smaller vernal ponds that fill up with water from snow melt and rains during the early spring.

As summer approaches, leopard frogs become more and more abundant. During some years, the trails seem to be alive as hundreds of leopard frogs hop out of the way.

Tree frogs can sometimes be seen on the side of the bird blind or hanging out on flowers in the prairie.

What mammals live at Nahant Marsh?

In terms of mammals, nearly every mammal commonly found in Eastern Iowa or Western Illinois has been observed here, including foxes, bobcats, river otters, weasels, white-tailed deer, beavers, and a healthy population of muskrats.

The homes of muskrats look like piles of cattails, sedges or other plant material and can seen scattered along the edges of the marsh. With so many muskrats, Nahant Marsh also has a healthy population of mink, who’s favorite meal is muskrat.

Mink can generally be observed slinking around the waterways at dusk or dawn. They travel from muskrat lodge to muskrat lodge, looking for a dinner.

What plants can be found at Nahant Marsh?

Nahant Marsh is part of a 513-acre complex of wetlands formed when the Mississippi River changed it’s course and left behind oxbow lakes that gradually began to silt in.

Numerous plant, animal, and fungus species have been documented at Nahant Marsh over the years. Over 360 vascular plant species, some rare, some common, some large and some quite small have been recorded here. The rare Ear-Leaved False Foxglove (Tomenthera auriculata) and Rose Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) are found in only a few other places in the Midwest and pop up from time to time here at Nahant Marsh, generally, after a fire or flood.

How much did it cost to build Dillon Fountain in 1918?

CLICK HERE for the audio about the Dillon Fountain, constructed in 1918.

You are standing at the foot of Davenport’s Main Street, which was once known as “City Beautiful Boulevard.” Main Street was a proper Victorian horse and buggy promenade connecting Central Park with the Davenport riverfront. The beautifully landscaped buggy route featured a triumphant entry into downtown as it passed under the watchful eye of the lone Civil War infantry soldier standing guard at the crest of the bluff. It continued down hill toward the beacon light in the lantern atop the Dillon Fountain, which you see here.

History of first railroad bridge crossing of the Mississippi River

A pictorial history of the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River and its three successors

by Curtis C. Roseman

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