Burlington, Iowa

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Burlington is a city in and the county seat of Des Moines County, Iowa, United States.[1] The population was 26,839 the 2000 census. Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area including West Burlington, Iowa and Middletown, Iowa and Gulf Port, Illinois. Burlington is the home of Snake Alley, the crookedest alley in the world, and has been called the Backhoe Capital of the World.

Contents

History

Prior to American settlement, the area was neutral territory for the Sac and Fox Indians, who called it "Shoquoquon" (Shok-ko-kon), meaning Flint Hills.[2]

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson organized two parties of explorers to map the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark followed the Missouri River, while Lt. Zebulon Pike followed the Mississippi River. In 1805, Pike landed at the bluffs below Burlington and raised the United States Flag for the first time on Iowa soil and recommended the construction of a fort. The recommendation went unheeded.

The American Fur Company established a post in the area in 1829, but actual settlement began in 1833, shortly after the Black Hawk Purchase when Samuel (who also went by Simpson) White and David Tothero crossed the Mississippi River from Big Island. According to an account A.T. Andreas wrote in 1875, White erected a cabin in the area later platted to be Front Street between Court and High streets. Tothero went farther inland. Andreas called White and Doolittle the Romulus and Remus of their settlement, referring to the ancient heroes who founded Rome — another city surrounded by hills.

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