Muscatine, located in Muscatine County, has a population of 22,886 according to the 2010 census, up 7.6% from the previous census. Muscatine has come to be known as the pearl button capital of the world as the button industry has been a major business in this city. Also, Muscatine is known as the watermelon capital of the world and the other thing Muscatine is known for is their sunsets. Mark Twain once said “I remember Muscatine for its sunsets. I have never seen any on either side of the ocean that equaled them.” Today, Muscatine is an active river community, manufacturing center, and tourist destination.
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Nearest Ruhl&Ruhl Office
226 E. 2nd Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone Number: (563) 441-1776
The first European-American settler in Muscatine was George Davenport, after whom Davenport is named. He built a trading post on the site in 1833. Gristmills and a lumber industry followed. Woodworking became a major industry. The town was incorporated as Bloomington in 1839. One of the early residents was Dr. Benjamin Weed, who set up his practice here. Because of the popularity of the name Bloomington, there was considerable confusion in mail routing and delivery – as a result, the town changed its name to Muscatine. Considerable confusion exists as to where the name came from, but no other city in the United States uses this name. Prior to the Civil War, Muscatine had Iowa’s largest community of African-Americans, comprising escaped slaves and freedmen from the east. A German immigrant started a button factory in 1884, cutting buttons from the shells of freshwater clams, which were plentiful in the river and creeks. H.J. Heinz built a canning factory here in 1892. Author Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) wrote for the local newspaper at one time.
The Pine Creek Grist Mill is a restored 1848 mill with intact mill machinery. The Muscatine Art Center houses French impressionist works in a 1908 Edwardian mansion. Several golf courses are also available.
The Mark Twain Overlook is one of the biggest attractions that Muscatine has to offer. It looks east over the Mississippi River, facing downstream, and insight of lock and dam 16. Muscatine also has all the attraction amenities that you would expect. Both Weed Mansion and Weed Park are part of the legacy of the early settler, Dr. Benjamin Weed. The Muscatine History and Industry Center features the history of the pearl button industry that, before the development of plastic buttons, produced 37 percent of the world pearl button supply.