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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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DUBUQUE DRIVING PARK

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DUBUQUE DRIVING PARK. The Dubuque Driving Park was first described in the Dubuque Herald on October 20, 1865. Built by Richmond and McMasters, the Park was located along Couler Avenue north of the city. (1)

Occupying thirty acres, the Park offered a quarter mile track for racing with fences to protect spectators. A three-story judges' stand, along with ticket offices and stables. The newspaper encouraged city officials to consider upgrading the road to the Park and encouraged citizens to visit the site. (2)

The opening of the Park was scheduled for November 1, 2, and 3, 1865. On the first day, a purse of $100, known as the "Livery Purse, will be offered for the best three in five. A $50 purse for mile heats will go to the best two in three. On the second day, the "Citizens' Sweepstakes Purse" of $150 was open to all trotters, best three in five mile heats. A second purse, "Hot-1 Purse," was to go to the best two in three mile heats for double teams. The third day offered the $100 Proprietors' Purse to all trotters except winners of sweepstakes best three in five. A second purse of $50 was open to all, best two in three. (3)

Unfortunately, bad weather prevented the opening of the park until spring. (4)

In 1880 the following article appeared in the Dubuque Herald:

                Secretary Hetherington informed a Herald reporter
                yesterday that driving tickets were ready for 
                those who are entitled to them, and can be had by
                calling for them. Others can procure them for a
                certain sum of money. These tickets entitle the
                holder to use the race track upon which to drive
                for pleasure or profit, or both. (5)

In June 1890 no less than twenty local businesses announced that they would close for business to attend the grand opening. (6)

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Source:

1. "Dubuque Driving Park, Dubuque Herald, October 20, 1865, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18651020&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "The Dubuque Driving Park Closed Until Spring," Dubuque Herald, November 1, 1865, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18651101&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

5. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, April 16, 1880, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18800416&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

6. "Will Close for the Races," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 10, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18900610&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

See: HORSE RACING