Based on a Federal Style,
the Colonel Davenport House was built using technology known by a local
carpenter. His method was to build the skeleton of the house
as if it were a log structure. The logs were squared using
axes and adzes and then notched to fit tightly against each other.
Furring strips were then secured to the exterior, and pine clapboards
Later, more conventional building techniques of frame
construction were used. East and west wings were added to the
house. A kitchen wing on the south was added. A
small porch ran the length of the house. Davenport used the
west wing as an office. The house was the center of a number of
buildings, as many as thirteen. These additional buildings acted as
warehouses and storehouses for the trading network.
the Civil War, the house deteriorated and eventually fell to the
ravages of local souvenir hunters and vandals. In 1907,
restoration began. In 1988 the Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation
raised funds and restored the roof, siding, windows, front porch and
west wing. The Federal Government and the U.S. Army have
contributed no money to this project.
The Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation is a
non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Davenport
House. It relies on private donations to support its
activities and restoration efforts. The Foundation relies on
volunteers to maintain and operate the house.
The Davenport House is historically important for several
reasons. First, it reflects the growth in the prosperity of
one man, George Davenport. Davenport was a settler, provider,
homesteader, businessman and counselor. His history equals
the Quad City's history shaping its growth and development.
On a much larger scale, it reflects the settling of the West.
When George Davenport arrived with the U.S. Army in 1816, their mission
was to establish fortification in the wilderness for the U.S.
Government. The protection afforded by this fort attracted settlers to
this wild, rich land. As a settler, Davenport was in a position to
realize the possibilities of further trade with the Indians.
He also prospered as an Agent of the American Fur
Company. He quickly branched into other businesses,
sending the first keelboat-load of lead down the river to St.
During the Black Hawk Wars, Davenport was a fur trader and respected
citizen. This put him in a natural position to act as a
mediator between the Indians and the U.S. Government. The
coming of the steamboat in 1823 into the upper Mississippi Valley
region brought more settlers and possibilities for further business
dealings. With his increased prosperity, Davenport wanted a
home, which he built between 1833-1834. The house became the center of
local commerce, a crossroads for trade in the region. Later,
this home laid the foundation for the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois.
Davenport and Fur Trading
Come hear about the fur trading and its importance in
the life of George Davenport.
Learn about the types of furs traded in the Quad City area. Listen to
how George Davenport bartered with the local Indians in building the
||George Davenport built Federal-style house. It’s one of the farthest west examples of this type of architecture in the country.
||George Davenport is murdered.
||Davenport family moves out of the house.
||Captain Reynolds, in charge of the Arsenal prison barracks, rented the
house. Then in December, Col. Johnson rented the house as the prison headquarters.
||Lloyd family took residence.
||Property was sold to the U.S. Government. It was abandoned and fell into severe disrepair with the east, west, and south winds collapsing.
||Davenport’s granddaughters and a group called the Old Settlers and Pioneers were able to save and restore the main structure, but had to raze the three deteriorating wings.
||Quad City Homebuilders and volunteers further restored the Davenport house with a new roof, siding, interior plaster, and exterior and interior paint. The house was opened for tours.
||Local chapters of Questers antique group chose the house as their Bicentennial renovation project.
||Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation is created with the goals of preserving the house and sharing its rich history with the public.
||The roof was replaced on the house.
||CDHF replaced the window sashes with ones that were like the original ones thanks to a grant from the Adler Foundation. The 1906 siding was also replaced with stylistically-accurate pine wood siding.
||The federal-style portico on the front of the house was reconstructed thanks to a grant from Adler Foundation.
||The chimneys were restored and the stucco was removed revealing the Mississippi riverbend stone thanks to a grant from the Riverboat Development Authority.
||The west wing of the house was reconstructed and houses the gift shop thanks to grants from the State of Illinois, Riverboat Development Authority, and Scott County Regional Authority.
||Archeological dig of east wing area and yard is completed in preparation for reconstruction. Fur trade exhibit was completed on the second floor.
|| Windows and siding were replaced on the front of the house thanks to a grant from the Riverboat Development Authority.
||The south side of the house is resided, the windows redone, and the porch and accessible ramp rebuilt thanks to the Quad City Homebuilders, McCartney Construction, Ehrecke Construction, and a grant from the Scott County Regional Authority.
||Downstairs interior painted and wood trim was recoated with a wood grain supported by a matching grant from the Runge Family Foundation.
||Groundbreaking of reconstruction of the east wing project
|| Grants received from the Scott County Regional Authority and the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation to continue work on the east wing.