Davenport is a city in Iowa that borders the Mississippi River. The city has an estimated population of 99,514 (2006). Davenport often makes national headlines when the Mississippi River floods. It is the only city over 20,000 people bordering the Mississippi that has no permanent floodwall or levee. Davenport prefers the open access to the river for parks and vistas over having access cut off by dikes and levees.
Davenport was established in 1836 and named after the town's first permanent resident and prominent businessman, Colonel George Davenport. Colonel Davenport arrived in 1816 with the establishment of Fort Armstrong. He acted as a "sutler," or supplier, for the army's Fort Armstrong from 1816 - 1845. Fort Armstrong was located on the northwestern tip of Arsenal Island with the purpose of monitoring fur trade traffic in the area and keeping the peace between local American Indian tribes. The first railroad bridge stretching across the Mississippi River connected Davenport and Rock Island, Illinois, was built in 1856 by the Rock Island Railroad. Steamboaters saw nationwide railroads as a threat to their business. Keokuk, chief of the Sac tribe, and General Winfield Scott signed a treaty to end the Black Hawk War in 1832 on the same spot the railroad bridge would later be built. The treaty resulted in the United States gaining six million acres of land.
Several well known annual music festivals take place in Davenport, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, dedicated to Davenport native Bix Beiderbecke. An internationally known seven-mile foot race called the Bix 7 takes place during the festival. Other notable events include Sturgis on the River, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and River Roots Live.