Muscatine 

As the sun greets a new warning across the Mississippi, and the mighty river washes the night downstream, the bustling city of Muscatine awakes. Just as it’s done for over 175 years, Muscatine traces its roots to 1833 Colonel George Davenport came downriver from Rock Island Illinois, and established an outpost is a place for river boat, captains to replenish their wood for fuel briefly. Known as Casey’s woodpile, it would soon become Bloomington little did Colonel Davenport know he had founded a future international business and cultural center. The town became Muscatine in 1849, named after the area’s musk out’n Indians. The city fathers hope to end the confusion between their city and Bloomington’s in several neighboring states. Muscatine continued to grow as a river town until 1887, when a German button maker John Frederik deftly settled there and opened a mother of pearl button factory, Using the thick shelled clams found in the surrounding streams his company was soon outselling even the established European button makers. Others like John Mckee followed with factories of their own, and Muscatine soon became known as the pearl button capital of the world, producing over 21,000 buttons every day for garment manufacturers around the world. The industry would employ over half of population of Muscatine, and gain the identity of the pearl of the Mississippi. Muscatine had established itself as a center for international commerce, pearl buttons would continue to be Muscatine’s lifeblood until the mid 20th century when plastic buttons gain favor, but by then others had noticed that Muscatine was the ideal location for other businesses. Drawn by Muscatine’s proximity to shipping and its large skilled and professional labor pool, these new businesses would begin to supplant the button industry. The first was Stanley consulting a worldwide engineering firm founded in 1913, but soon it found itself in the company of other internationally known names. Today Muscatine area boasts many internationally recognized businesses such as ban dog, HJ Heinz, Muscatine foods corporation HNI industries, Caver Pump company, Musco sports lighting, Monsanto, SSAB, Gerdau, CDS Global and West liberty foods, just name of few but if you think Muscatine is only about business, think again. It boasts a rich cultural heritage as well. Mark Twain even resided in Muscatine and later wrote: I remember Muscatine for its summer sunsets , I have never seen any on either side of the ocean that equaled them. The Muscatine art center is home to a permanent collection of Matisse, Degas, Boudin, Chagall, Picasso, Van Gogh and Renoir, it also houses works by American artists Keith Hauser, the San ski and Grant Wood. Quality of family life is also important here, Muscatine boasts 13 public parks with 6 miles of paved jogging and biking trails, tennis court that are filled all summer long. The city is also home to two large aquatic centers as well, Carver Swim Center is year-round a 3.8 million dollar fully equipped. State of the art soccer facility host local regional and national events, right next door is the equally impressive light at 18 diamond softball and baseball complex in Kent Stein Park. Activity in Muscatine doesn’t stop when the Sun goes down either, you will find everything you’d want in a family-friendly atmosphere the Muscatine symphony orchestra performs October through April in the Muscatine Performing Arts Center. Live theater is performed under the stars and indoors, by the Muscatine maskers community theater. Muscatine’s rich ethnic diversity offers the opportunity to sample a world flavors for a simple American hamburger to authentic Mexican and exotic Thai cuisine in one of its many restaurants several are housed and former button factories with views of the river. There’s another thing that people look for when choosing to move their business or family to a new location, it’s health care. Here the pearl shines again with Trinity Muscatine, a fully staffed local hospital and multi-specialty clinic. Trinity Muscatine is part of the Iowa health system, this gives local patients access to regional experts for the kind of care normally reserved for much larger cities.