Cody Road Historic District

History

Some 60 structures compose the Cody Road Historic District in LeClaire, ranged along both sides of a 9-block stretch of U.S. 67, locally known as Cody Road and the community's principal thoroughfare. The road runs north / south, parallel to, and slightly above, the Mississippi River. It is heavily traveled, being the main road between Clinton on the north and Davenport about 15 miles to the southwest. The district contains both residential and commercial structures, the latter concentrated in the south end, and extending north along the east side of Cody Road. Most of the residential structures are found on the west side, facing the Mississippi River.

Location

The boundaries of the Cody Road Historic District have been drawn to include all of the historic resources along the street, and stop at the north and south ends where modern construction fairly abruptly begins. On the west side, the district begins with 102 N Cody (NW corner Cody and Dodge) and runs through 816 N Cody. On the east side, the district begins with the first of three late 19th century commercial buildings (1 23 S Cody) and ends with 803 N Cody. Intrusive structures may be characterized wither as low, one-story blocks, faced with brick or artificial siding (some with a "rustic" look), or, on the west side in particular, larger, glass fronted buildings with deep setbacks and large parking lots.

Significance

The Cody Road Historic District is significant both in terms of architecture and of history. The 9-block-long area contains (for a small town) a rich variety of mid-to-late 19th century architecture and building types, ranging from the simple utilitarianism of workingmen's dwellings, and assorted forms of commercial architecture, to relatively stylish" examples of upper-middle-class residential construction. Furthermore, many of these resources can be associated, directly or indirectly with persons and activities that formed the basis of LeClaire's reputation, from the 1850s through the 1870s, as a bustling center of industry and commerce, and, above all, as a major participant in the history of Mississippi River trade and transportation.

City of LeClaire

The history of LeClaire began in the mid 1830s, when the first settlers came to the area. By the end of that decade, there were two towns platted, Parkhurst and LeClaire, the former just north of the latter. Parkhurst was eventually incorporated into LeClaire, along with the narrow strip of land between them which during the 1850s was known as "Middletown." Of particular importance in the history of the community was its strategic location at the head of a 15 mile stretch of rock-strewn water known as the Upper Rapids.

Mississippi River

From the first, the Mississippi River played a predominant role in the life of LeClaire. Apart from the stone quarries and brickyards, early industry was mostly milling - grist and lumber, the latter of particular importance and longevity. Several fortunes were made in lumber here, and were reflected in the fine residences. of such men as William Headley (226 N Cody) and James McCaffrey (208 N Cody).