Driving around the fine metropolis of Bettendorf, Iowa, one would get the impression we have the dirtiest cars on the planet. In an already crowded car wash corridor in a 3 block span along Devil's Glen Rd., yet another will open up shop in the car wash location that started it all.

original car wash sight will soon be extreme

It was back in the 1900's when there was but one car wash king on Devil's Glen Rd. I think it was a Super-Wash or Captain Clean, right there between Rudy's and The Shell Station, sort of across from Hy-Vee. Back then, the addition of a multiple bay self-serve car wash, along with two attendant-assisted automatics spelled the end of the two rickety ol' single-tunnel gas station washes further down devil's Glen.

After all, the new high-pressure washes removed the grime (and sometimes more!) faster and cheaper than their spinning plastic counterparts. And so it was for about 15 years that the "Captain" tended to the needs of harried moms on their way to soccer practice, and weekend detailers alike.

car wash power wash

But we are a fickle bunch here in B-town, and soon there was a new Sheriff in town. Power Wash built just up Devil's Glen, and added additional bays, with more automatic choices, including something called "Soft-cloth." It was flashy, and new, and soon the ol' Captain had to put his ship in dry dock, close up the car wash and put the for sale sign on the building.

car wash xpress

While that empty building got older, and the weeds grew through the cracks of the concrete, other car wash locations sprouted within a stones' throw. Something called "Xpress" which couldn't offer more wash bays, decided that speed was the marketing agent missing from Devil's Glen and brought the 3 minute wash. Oh, and for some reason they added dog washing to their repertoire.

So, if you're keeping score, there are now 2 car wash locations (And dog washing, too) in the shadow of the original. We're good, right? No--Bettendorf, you are dirty, dirty people. While the original location was occupied by a slightly-less-than-fly-by-night hail dent repair place, Kwik Star comes along and throws their car wash hat into the ring. We have a new number on the tote board: 2 tunnel washes, 3 automatics and 4 bays.

car wash Kwik Star

Now, in Kwik Star's defense, car washing is one of a billion things they offer, and it was probably just included in the building plan called for based on space available. Try the fried chicken tenders! Anyway, back to our story.

Let's circle back to the original wash location and see...what's this? A New car wash coming soon? Well, thank God, we'll finally get what our cars need around here: something called "Extreme" I wish them good luck--and hope to have my dog 'extreme' washed soon.

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Iowa's Island City

There is something unique about every town, but there is really something special about Sabula, IA. Known as "Iowa's Island City," Sabula is the only town in the state of Iowa that is entirely on an island. While not a lot of people have been to, or live in Sabula, it is a quaint little town nestled right on the Mississippi River.

Before we show you around "Iowa's Island City," let me give you the history of Sabula. Sabula was established in 1835, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis. Isaac Dorman and a man named Hinkley crossed the river from the Illinois side on a log and decided to settle on what is now Sabula. An Ohio couple, James and Margaret Woods would settle on Sabula about a year later in April of 1836. Their son, Dr. E. A. Woods would purchase Hinkley's interest in the claim. Charles Swan and W. H. Brown would soon purchase Dorman's interest. The three men, Woods, Swan and Brown later had the land plotted in 1837.

The idea behind plotting the land was because there was no town between Lyons (north Clinton) and Bellevue. The plot of the new town was recorded in Dubuque as this area was part of Dubuque county at the time, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

According to Island City Harbor's website, Sabula went through a few names before landing on the official town name. In 1837, Sabula was first called Carrollport. Residents of the town didn't like the name because there was a man's name who was Carroll who had a bad reputation. The town changed its name to Charleston, after early settler Charles Swan. The only issue was that there was already a town called Charleston in Iowa which caused much confusion.

In 1846 the settler’s decided to find a name. Island City Harbor's website says that because of it’s sandy soil, William Hubble suggested the town be called "Sabulum" which is Latin for sand. A party was being held around the time the town name was being discussed, when a woman, supposed to be Miss Harriet Hudson, suggested the town be called Sabula as it was easier to pronounce and sounded more elegant, according History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1 by James Whitcomb Ellis.

Sabula did not actually become an island until 1939. According to Wikipedia, in the 1930's, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the lock and dam system. In 1939, Lock and Dam No. 13 between Clinton, IA and Fulton, IL was built which caused the bottomlands west of the town permanently flooded. With the Mississippi River east of the town, this created the "Island City." A levee was built around Sabula in 1957 for protection, according to Island City Harbor's website. This also allowed for the south sand pit to be turned into a boat harbor.

I would like to thank my mom Beth, her fiancé Matt, my brother Nolan and my wife Ellie for accompanying me to Sabula. We always have a blast on our trips and this one was no exception.

It's now time to introduce you to Sabula, Iowa, Iowa's Island City.

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