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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




RHOMBERG PARK

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RHOMBERG PARK. Established by Alphons L. RHOMBERG, Rhomberg Park was located on an area bordered by Garfield and Rhomberg avenues and between Shiras Avenue and the first street south--an area that became later the site of many apartment buildings. (1) To create a memorable approach to the site, he planted hundreds of ELMS along Rhomberg Avenue. (2) The park offered a bandstand and was often the site of German beer picnics. In 1890 for the park's July opening, Rhomberg announced that many additional street cars belonging to his DUBUQUE STREET RAILWAY COMPANY would be available with both Main and Clay street cars taking riders to the park for the cost of five cents. (3) The first year of operation witnessed a speaker arranged by the DUBUQUE TRADES AND LABOR CONGRESS, the reciting of an original poem by M. D. Nagle, and a Labor Day picnic. (4)

The park featured a wide variety of entertainment. In August, 1898 "Mock Dad Alli, the Hindoo" performed magic. He had also performed in 1896. (5) The Dubuque Cornet Band presented the program for the Saegerbund Concert in July 1890. Events were listed in the newspaper nearly every month from spring until fall. In 1894 Mr. Matt Kusell, formerly the manager of the Corrinne Opera Company of Chicago was hired to manage the presentation of opera and concerts during the summer. Admission to the groups was free and dancing was available twice each week. (6) In 1900 J. C. Morris, a theatrical manager, convinced the park managers to allow him to perform vaudeville during the summer. He later convinced them to allow him to move his acts to his new COATES OPERA HOUSE during the week. Performances at the park were reserved for Sunday afternoon and evening. (7)

Although renamed Riverside Park in 1900, the name Rhomberg Park continued to be used. In preparation for the May festival of the local Order of Moose, a carnival was hired, a balloon ascension and parachute jump were scheduled, and the dancing pavilion was made ready along with most of the larger stands. (8)

The park was later used for FRESH AIR CAMPS.

The end of Rhomberg Park began around 1949 when Charles H. Rhomberg announced plans to building several small apartment units. (8) Eventually all the property was developed as the Eagle Point Apartments.


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Source:

1. "Eagle Point Park," The Telegraph Herald, April 14, 1966, p. 3

2. Day, Mike (editor), The '50s: Vol. 1: 1950-1954, Dubuque: Woodward Communications, 2015, p. 72

3. "Dubuque New Pleasure Resort," Dubuque Daily Herald, July 12, 1890, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18900712&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

4. "Local News in Brief," The Herald, August 31, 1890, p. 8

5. "Amusements," The Dubuque Herald, August 20, 1898, p. 5

6. "Municipal Molecules," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 22, 1894, p. 5

7. "Now It's Riverside Park," Dubuque Daily Herald, June 7, 1900, p. 3

8. "Park Will Be Beautiful," The Telegraph-Herald, May 24, 1911, p. 10

8. "Survey Part of Three Point Program of Development," Telegraph-Herald, December 6, 1949, p. 20