Schuetzen Park Pavilion

Author's collection

Post card

About This Image

This photograph shows the concert pavilion at Schuetzen Park, a "shooting" and amusement park that existed on the western outskirts of Davenport from 1870-1923. This postcard is postmarked 1938. It was used by a Davenport postcard collector who was seeking to swap cards with a Pennsylvania collector who had probably placed an ad in a card-swapping exchange. (See an image of the back of the card below.)

Background Information

In 1870, Davenport's Schuetzengesellschaft ("shooting society") acquired land on the western outskirts of Davenport to create a shooting range for target practice. Over the years, the enterprise grew to become an amusement park called Schuetzen Park that included such attractions as "an inn, dance hall, music pavilion, zoo, bowling alleys, roller coaster, refreshment stands, athletic field, [and] picnic grounds."

The park began to experience hardship in the late 1910s due to the widespread anti-German sentiment that resulted from the war. The park's troubles were further compounded in 1920 when the enactment of Prohibition meant the park could no longer sell alcohol which had been a chief source of revenue.

The land was sold in 1923. Today, much of the land is owned by the Davenport Good Samaritan Center. A portion of the original, however, is still accessible to the public as a privately-owned wilderness area that is equipped with trails and a small park with a newly constructed stage and concession stand. The only original structure that still stands is a 1911 street car waiting station that is completely surrounded by wilderness. In 2011, Preservation Iowa included this structure on its list of Iowa's Most Endangered Properties.

Source: Schuetzen Park Historic Site

Back of Postcard