June 03, 2013

Beer Gardens & Groves

Places of Entertainment
The Beer Gardens
The Chicagoan
The German Beer Riots of 1855
the German-Americans were serious 
about their beer gardens
One of the largest groups of migrations to the City of Chicago in the mid to late 19th century were the Germans of Europe.  
By 1890 one third of all the saloon-keepers were of German ancestry. According the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler, "where in 1914 one-third of Chicago's 600,000 Germans - most of them living in Lake View area - signed a resolution pledging Austrian Emperor Franz Joesph and Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm 'our unchangeable love of the home and Fatherland'." Before World War I naturalist patriotism and beer was complimentary for the Germans who among others, liked to be social and loved to 'get their drink on'! 
From the city's beginnings beer and Chicago are nearly synonymous. In fact, two taverns were among the first businesses in the city. In time most of the breweries built in the city were located on the north side near the border with Lake View township because brewers discovered that area topography was most favorable to building cool, underground 'aging rooms' conditions most suitable within a commercial buildings' basement.
The event in this article from the publication called Lake View Saga 1847-1985 posted below, while located in the City of Chicago, does tell a tale of the popularity of beer to an important social group in the city having ripple affect in neighboring townships and communities around Chicago.
 Bismarck/Marigold Gardens
Most of the following images are from Chicago History in Postcards, Bid Start, Ebay, and/or Chuckman Collection
image - 'Challenging Chicago' donated by Perry Duis 
with book contribution by Jackie Arreguin
postmarked 1903
postcard - My personal collection
Located on the corner of Halsted and Grace with the beer garden fenced currently the location for the IHop
1894 Sanborn Fire Map edited 
The ethnic Germans of the old Lake View (1857-1889) and the visiting residents of Chicago liked to be social and loved to get their drink on! One in particular popular place to do just that was the Bismarck Gardens.
1894 Sanborn Fire Map edited zoomed
Bismarck Gardens was located at the southwest corner of Grace and Halsted Streets in old District of Lake View. It opened in 1894 by brothers Emil and Karl Eitel to serve the sizable number of German-Americans living on Chicago's North Side (Emil was a resident of the East Ravenswood community of Lake View). The park-sized space quickly became one of the city's most popular summertime beer gardens. It featured ample shade trees, electric lamps, an outdoor stage and dance floor, and plenty of German beer and music. An attractive entertainment hall was also built so to permit year-round operations.
1914 image - Chicago Daily Tribune
Bismarck Gardens did have issues with its neighbors much like the neighbors surrounding Wrigley Field today – parking and noise! Other issues were WWI anti-German sentiment, labor strikes, and Prohibition Act of 1919.
Bismarck Gardens had to rename it establishment to Marigold Gardens by 1916, in response to rising anti-German sentiment in the city before and during the First World War. 
In 1923, Marigold Gardens venue changed with new owners, new management, and new entertainment. For a brief time during the late 1920's, the gardens became known as Vanity Fair known for its cabaret shows. It was later well known by the mid-20th century for professional boxing matches.
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
The Bismarck's elegant and shady gardens have long since been paved over first with a parking lot in the 1960's and in 2014 as Halsted Flats (old garden area) but ... parts of the former Marigold Gardens dance hall complex still stand, now converted to other another use.
By the way, the Eitel brothers owned another piece of real estate but in the Loop area of Chicago called Bismarck Hotel - now called Hotel Allegro.
Most of these postcard images are from the Chuckman Collection, Chicago History in Postcards, and the Chicago Public Library Newspapers Archives and Linda Woods, a LVH contributor. In fact, most if not all of the postcards shown in the album were produced by the largest manufacturer of postcards in the late 19th to mid-20th century called Curt Teich & Company yet another and former establishment in Lake View.

Opened in 1894 not 1896 
by the German born Eitel brothers
Postcard caption highlights marble terrace 
and 'ice cooled to 70 degrees'
Marigold Room was the interior space
- unknown date - Ebay
image - Ebay
Should We Go to Ravina or Bismarck Gardens? 1908
(click on article to enlarge)
Chicago City of Neighborhoods via G. Schmalgermeier 
A review in 1910
(click on article to enlarge)
A Fire and Protest June 1913
Easy Listening in July 1913
(click on article to enlarge)

advertisement 1915 - Chicago Daily Tribune
A New Marigold Room
 a zoomed view below
1916 advertisements - Chicago Daily Tribune
Parking was an issue in 1917

Postcard 1916 - CowCard.com
with sampling of the music of that era 
that may have been performed at the gardens along with possible live vaudeville acts
(click on article to enlarge)
Chicago Daily Tribune Ad 1914-1918
photo - Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Daily News Ad 1918

 
3 photos above - Bid Start
 Dorothy Jane Weeghman at a charity event in 1915
Little Ms. Weeghman's father was the owner of the Cubs 
Daily News Archives
postcard from Ebay

Chicago Daily Tribune Ads 1914-1917


photos - Chuckman Collection 
or Chicago History in Postcards
Signage at Wrigley Field

photo with a zoomed view - Library of Congress
via Jeff Nichols, Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
Federal League Park (Wrigley Field) 1914 
with rooftop advertisement from the 'garden'
A Labor Strike 1917
 1923 Sanborn Fire Map edited
by this period expanded in size
1923 Sanborn Fire Map edited zoomed
A Star is Born
The Marigold Gardens nightclub was managed by Henry Van Horne after 1923 who promoted a young woman named 
Ruth Etting. She was born in 1896 and died in 1978, first was a ‘pin-up’ girl later to be known as a singer/actor.
Her husband was a Jewish-American gangster named Martin "Moe The Gimp" Snyder. The story of their lives was 
made into the movie "Love Me or Leave Me" starring 
Doris Day and James Cagney. 
 Ruth Etting & chorus
 photo - unllib.unl.edu
with a personal testimonial of her grandmother 
from a contributor to LakeView Historical
Linda Wood mentioned: "My great grandmother was a dancer in the chorus and was friends with Ruth Etting--first newspaper clipping I have is 1915, and my great grandfather played the trombone with Fred Hamm in the mid-20s at the club. My great-grandmother was the wardrobe mistress for the Marigold and the other local dance palaces. I loved hearing the stories my mom retold of those old days. She is in the top row, third from the left." 
photo - Linda Wood 
highlighting her great grandmother
with a view of her great grandfather below
photo - Linda Wood with granddad on left
Fred Hamm and his Orchestra were a Big Band from Chicago that was managed by Edgar Benson of Benson Orchestra fame. Hamm's Orchestra performed at the Marigold Garden in Chicago from 1923 to 1925. Listen to the sounds of that band and its era with this link and this link.
Some Stage Performers
 photo - Linda Wood
photo - Linda Wood
 'photo - Linda Wood
photo - Linda Wood 
View the photo interactive transition of the building from past to present. The Chicago Tribune articles below tell a tale of fame and evolution for one of the famous beer gardens in Chicago. This particular article below mentions to the reader that Bismarck Gardens was the urban oasis and Ravina was the rural oasis of its day.
The Beginning of the End for the Gardens
World War I years (1914-18) were years of difficult transitions for the Garden. The establishment almost closed mostly due to animate anti-German attitudes of anything German world-wide. Bismarck Gardens was named after the first German Chancellor Otto Van Bismarck of the united Germany. In Great Britain the royal family, due to public pressure, the royal family changed their last name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha in German) to an English surname - Windsor.  Apparently, the 'gardens' popularity during the war years was also the beginning of decline. During the war years the 'garden' the owners changed the name to an English sounding name - Marigold Gardens -named after one of their enclosed dining areas. 
The Preparedness Movement 1915-1916 evolved from German Empire eagerness to have Republic of Mexico join the European War against the United States entry to the European war - this did not help German-American establishments in America.
 - Charles Vazquez via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
A big deal for the Garden in 1915  
Trying to promote an allegiance 
to the US war effort to their German speaking customers
photo - a Linda Woods contribution
Union Labor Unrest in 1917
The Day Book - Library of Congress
A Bomb Plot in 1917
 Demands to change the name of their beer - 1917
Fill It Up!
beer pitcher per Ebay
 
 Beer mugs used at both the Gardens and their hotel 
that was located downtown 
photos - Ebay

image - Calumet 412
The Ernie Young's Fall Frolics featured a semi-nude dancer named Sally Rand - view one of her performances

A Cabaret by 1922
1923  Marigold Gardens is CLOSED!
A Narrative on the Owners - 1928

 

Listen to the sound of Verne Buck band via YouTube 
Listen to the sound of Joe Kayser band via YouTube 

Apparently during the late 1920's this music venue went through a lot of management & name changes. For a brief time period the old gardens became known as Vanity Fair ... apparently twice closed and then reopened.

The Boxing and Wrestling Years
(click on article to enlarge)


Boxing Metal 1932 - Ebay
images - Ebay 
Apparently known for wrestling as well
Concerts during the Depression 

1950 Sanborn Fire Map edited
1950 Sanborn Fire Map edited zoomed
By the late 1930's through early 50's Marigold Gardens became the location for nationally acclaimed boxing matches
1940 Advertisement
Boxing line-up card - (front & back) Ebay
a 1941 article 
with an unknown year - Ebay
 Scorecard 1949
1955 Ebay
1953 Ebay
 photo - Ebay

a newsletter ...
(click on images below to enlarge)

1957 Marigold Arena newsletter
above images - Ebay
image above - Ebay
image below - Forgotten Chicago website
Places to Eat & Drink After 
The Wishing Well
Trail's End
Jiu Jitsu classes during the 1960's
Ebay photos
 
 
 
Its' Other Occupants
property leased in 1937
 (click on article to enlarge)

Property Sold 1950

On the corner of Bradley Place & Halsted stood
Marigold Car Service by 1952
and then later in 1963 
it became Marigold Car Wash
image - David Akiyama contributor
On the southwest corner of Halsted Street & Grace where the original building once stood was Harry Fischman Liquors, a member of High/Low Liquors during the 1950's
 and the Foremost Liquors by 1966. 
Both stores had an address of 3766 N Halsted Street
A church bought the former Marigold Room in 1963
 
 
 
 
 
The Property Evolves Again 2009

photo - Google Map viewer 2009
According to this interactive aerial photography (1962-1973) the most of the remaining buildings of the beer garden space had disappeared & replaced with a parking lot and an Ihop.
The New Look
This is the original proposed 'planned development' for what was picnic grove area of Bismarck/Marigold Gardens. The grayish dwelling drawing at the top right was the Marigold Room. The small grayish drawing next to it is the pancake house.  The grayish dwellings are not part of the proposed development. 
2012  Site map planned development along with a pdf of this new development called the 'Halsted Flats'. Photos during construction below taken by me one cold day.
 photo - garry albrecht
photo - garry albrecht
photo - Yo Chicago
Under construction 2012-13
The Brothers' Other Properties
one of the four brothers
image - ebay
As mentioned in the beginning of this post the Eitel brothers owned other properties such as the Bismarck Hotel. This is a postcard image of the original hotel from 1894 until 1924 with same timeline as the Bismarck Gardens. The hotel was located @ on Randolph Street, between LaSalle & Wells. 
above photo 1904 - Ebay
 
photo images - The Chicagoan
1906 - Ebay
 
1949 postcard - from CardCow
The brothers also owned and operated restaurant on Randolph near State Street called the The Old Heidelberg 
- Chicago History in Postcard
With a Related Connection:
Bowling @ Marigold Arcade
 Across the street on Grace beginning in 1941 the 'Marigold' name would continue with a new a different kind of business - a bowling alley while at the same time the Marigold Gardens popularity in boxing matches continued ...
Across the street to the old gardens was Marigold Arcade and Bowling. The name lived on throughout the 20th century from 1941-2004 before this bowling alley-arcade was replaced with condos. The arcade was located across the street from Bismarck Gardens on Grace Street.
G
A Chicago Trib article 1950
(click on article to enlarge)
 
Matchbook Cover - Ebay
photos - Dr. Jake's Bowling History Blog
The Other Beer Gardens of the Area
Kaiser Garden
Above image - Chuckman Collection
These Sanborn Fire Maps indicated a 'bowling alley' 
and 'hall' in the 1894 map while only 
showing a 'dance hall' in the 1923 version
1894 view of the northeast corner 
of Halsted and Addison Streets 
1923 view of the northeast corner 
of Halsted and Addison Streets 
(click to enlarge both images)
This pre-World War I establishment was named after Kaiser Wilhelm I, who along with Otto Van Bismarck united all of Germany in 1871.
Kaiser Wilhelm I - first German emperor 1871-1888 
and King of Prussia 1861-1888
Rienza Beer Garden & Cafe

images - Ebay
The Rienzi Cafe and Beer Garden was located at east of Evanston (Broadway) Avenue and Diversey (Boulevard) Parkway. Emil Gasch was the owner and proprietor. The cafe was open from 1901 to at least 1916, according to a news report about a death at the restaurant printed in the July 13, 1916, issue of the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. 
The Lincoln Park Plaza currently occupies this location. 
postcards - Chicago History in Postcards
Beer garden space 1910 
image - Ebay
From a beer garden to a apartment hotel
Business card front and back - unknown date Ebay
 1923 Sanborn Fire Map indicating the Hotel Rienzi
and maybe the original cafe west of it. The cafe is not indicated on the 1894 map.
a closer look at the 1894 map zoomed
and once part of Wright's Grove
From this same spot in 1860 stood the mustering Civil War Camp called Camp Fry that was once referred to as the area of  Wright Woods and later the subdivision of Wright Grove.
 from a historical publication called the Lake View Saga
More Beers Gardens & Summer Groves: 
An Unknown on Addison
(no name indicated) 

 1894 Sanborn Fire Map sheet 112

1894 Sanborn Fire Map zoomed
A Summer Garden along Belmont 
(no name indicated)
but by 1921 this space became Merry (dance) Gardens known for its roaring 20's & marathon 30's dancing
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map sheet 65
with a zoomed view below
This 1923 Sanborn map indicates the garden gone 
 Belmont Grove
located across the street from Shuetzen Park; 
and the future sight of Riverview Amusement Park
Ebay had this photo listed under Riverview Amusement Park; appears more like a Belmont Grove to me  
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map sheet 71
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map zoomed
Millers Grove
1894 Sanborn Fire Map sheet 72
1894 Sanborn Fire Map 
Poplar Grove
1894 Sanborn Fire Map sheet 26
1894 Sanborn Fire Map zoomed
depicting a bowling alley and shed for the horses
The Thielmann Family Resort
Township of Lake View
a former beer garden 
This so-called family resort and apparent beer garden was a very popular dinner place according to several references discovered online.
1887 Sanborn Map from Historic Map Works

 1894 Sanborn Fire Map edited 
highlighting the existing shoreline
1894 Sanborn Fire Map zoomed
Rainbo Gardens
District of Lake View
4812-36 North Clark Street
The 1894 Sanborn Fire Map below indicates that this established was once a tavern/restaurant with a bowling alley on the property along side sheds for the horses.
Sanborn Fire Map 1894



All photos above - Jazz Age Chicago via Uptown Update
The Chuckman Collection Postcards





A 1922 Promotional Booklet from Ebay
(click on article to enlarge)








photo - Led Zeppelin Reference
along with its last day in pictures
A Beer Garden? on Clark
District of Lake View
south of Lawrence Avenue along Clark 
a 1887 view of the establishment on Lawrence
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map
with a zoomed view below
Green Mill Gardens
District of Lake View
4802 N Broadway
 image - underground bee
 photo - Chuckman Collections
image - Bank St Irregular
The Green Mill was once called Pop's Morse Gardens during the late 19th century within the District of Lake View according to Jazz Age Chicago. Much like the Rainbo Gardens this establishment had humble beginnings apparently has a roadhouse for tired travels heading to somewhere else.
Harms Park 
A Picnic Grove 
District of Lake View
Community of Ravenswood
According the publication Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View (pgs 34-36) by Patrick Butler, in 1893 (then District of Lake View) there was a privately owned park that apparently resemble the picnic groves of an early period in Lake View Township. The picnic grove was located at the northeast corner of Western Avenue @ Berteau and extended to Lincoln Avenue. The grove was where Germans and friends would 'get their gemultlichkeit on!' By 1921 “ninety-seven different organizations met there, compared to the usual forty to fifty picnics per season.” 
In 1946 Mr. Harms sold his ‘North Center neighborhood’ property to private developers.

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Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!