MUSCATINE, Iowa-At one time, (circa 1917-1934) the Fairport Federal Biological Station housed a community of scientists and proved a mecca for visiting researchers contributing to the much needed propagation of mussels.
Today, with the help of ground penetrating radar, the search for artifacts begins to chart the way for the future. Plans for trails at the site hope to trace this history and tell the story of the village in the hills that once was home to the families conducting research to return mussels to the waters for the benefit of the button industry and native fish populations.
Tourists will enjoy a moderate hike in the woods among the foundations and infrastructure that remains of the biological station’s five original buildings on the north wooded hills across from the laboratory. They will learn the importance of the hatchery as a biological station. The station played a role in saving an industry in the past. Now, it will hopefully bring that history to life and continue it with a focus on water quality and river habitat restoration.
Sandy Stevens, a retired archaeologist native to Muscatine, and Glenn R. Storey, Associate Professor of Classics and Anthropology at the University of Iowa, will lend their expertise to this project.
The National Pearl Button Museum @ History and Industry Center would like to extend a most sincere thank you to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for their ongoing efforts.