‘American Pickers’: The Story Behind Mike Wolfe’s Plaque Donation to One Historic Iowa House

by Keeli Parkey

“American Pickers” host Mike Wolfe has a talent for finding valuable items. He also values the history of the pieces he finds. Earlier this year he made sure that one of those historical pieces made its way to the home where it belongs.

According to a Quad-City Times article shared on the “American Pickers” star’s website, in May 2021 he made sure a historic plaque he had found the previous fall was returned to the Antoine LeClaire House in Davenport, Iowa.

Mike Wolfe reportedly found the plaque in a LeClaire, Iowa, antique store known as Grasshoppers. The plaque was found on the floor. Being Mike Wolfe, he realized that the plaque was part of the history of Davenport. And, more importantly, he wanted to make certain that the people of that Iowa town will be able to view it.

The plaque found by the “American Pickers” creator was on display at one home of Antoine LeClaire at one point. The plaque’s first home does not exist. The LeClaire home that does still stand is where Wolfe decided to send the bronze marker. This historic Iowa home is located at 630 7th Street in LeClaire.

In May 2021, Wolfe took the plaque to that house. Waiting to accept the gift was Davenport resident Karen Anderson. She helped make sure that this LeClaire House was restored. She also leads programs about the history of the house.

Read More About the Plaque ‘American Pickers’ Star Donated to a Historic Home in Iowa

“Community history is so much more important to me than national or world history. Don’t get me wrong, I think those subjects should be taught. But community history gives you more of a sense of pride and understanding of where you came from,” “American Pickers” executive producer Mike Wolfe said.

Antoine LeClaire is important to this area of Iowa because he, with the help of George Davenport, established the city. LeClaire was also a “gifted linguist.” Through his work, he interpreted 22 treaties with Native Americans through the river valley.

The plaque that “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe donated to the Antoine LeClaire House in Davenport, Iowa, has a history that goes back almost a century. According to the article, the plaque was created in 1925. The minds behind it were the women of Daughters of the American Revolution – Hannah Caldwell Chapter.

They placed it in a home that was called the Treaty House. The home earned this name because it was constructed on the spot where the Black Hawk Purchase Treaty was signed on Sept. 21, 1832. The home was built by LeClaire at that location in order to recognize the treaty. This house was later torn down. And the plaque eventually made its way to the Grasshopper where Wolfe found it.

“There are a lot of people who throw out ideas, but there are not very many who take the bull by the horns and really do the work. I wanted to bring this (plaque) home to shine a light on the hard work that’s been done,” Wolfe said of his donation.