June 03, 2013

Beer Gardens & Picnic Groves

Places to Gather & Socialize:
This post contains the following topics 
Picnic Groves and ...
The Beer Gardens
The Chicagoan
Some Background:
The German Beer Riots of 1855
 German-Americans, a dominant population at the time, 
were serious about their beer gardens
One of the largest groups of migrations to the City of Chicago and the Township of Lake View in the mid to late 19th century were the German-speakers of Europe. By 1890 one third of all the 
saloon-keepers in Chicago were of German ancestry. 

The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 

1880-1920 By Perry Duis

According a publication called Hidden History of Ravenswood & Lake View by Patrick Butler, "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 Joseph and Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm 'our unchangeable love of the home and Fatherland." From the city's beginnings beer and Chicago are nearly synonymous. In time most of the breweries built in the city were located on the north side near the border with Lake View township because the brewers discovered that area's topography was most favorable to building cool, underground 'aging rooms' conditions most suitable within a commercial buildings' basement.
 Bismarck/Marigold Gardens/Arena
from a beer garden to boxing/wrestling to Halsted Flats
Most of the following images are from Chicago History in Postcards, Chicago Public Library, Ebay, and Chuckman Collection as well as from my own private collection
this building was constructed in 1875
The Grove on Halsted/Grace
and after that ....
The Garden City House
1891 Rascher's Atlas Map
zoomed view below

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 on the corner of Halsted and Grace streets
1894 Sanborn Insurance Fire Map 
1894 Sanborn Fire Map zoomed below
Bismarck Gardens was located at the southwest corner of Grace and Halsted Streets in newly formed 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 northside (Emil was a resident of the South-East Ravenswood neighorhood of Lake View). 
The park-sized space quickly became one of the city's most popular summertime beer gardens. It featured ample amount of shade trees, electric lamps, an outdoor stage and outside dance floor,
 and of course plenty of German beer and music. 
from Richard's Tourist Guide of Chicago
the 1904 edition
image - 'Challenging Chicago' by Perry Duis 
 by Jackie Arreguin
postmarked 1903
postcard - My personal collection
1914 ad - Chicago Daily Tribune
The Issues of the Time
Bismarck Gardens did have some problems with its neighbors much like the neighbors surrounding Wrigley Field today – parking and the noise!  Other issues were WWI anti-German sentiment, labor strikes, and Prohibition Act of 1919. Bismarck Gardens had to renamed its' establishment to Marigold Gardens by 1916, in a response to rising anti-German sentiment in the city before and during the First World War. In 1923, Marigold Gardens venue changed with 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/wrestling matches with another name change to Marigold Arena. One building, Marigold Room, still remains and used for a religious congregation since 1963.
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
The Bismarck Gardens' elegant and shady gardens have long since been paved over first with a parking lot since the 1960's and in 2014 by the Halsted Flats-the former garden area.
With that the Eitel brothers owned another piece of real estate but in the Loop area of Chicago called Bismarck Hotel - now called Hotel Allegro Royal and the Old Hiedleberg Restaurant and - now called Argo Tea on Randolph Street.

Postcard caption mentions a marble terrace 
and 'ice cooled to 70 degrees'
Marigold Room was most popular of the rooms
unknown date - Ebay
 postcard - Ebay
postcard - Ebay
Is Bismarck Gardens a Beer Garden??

 postcard - Ebay
Chicago City of Neighborhoods via G. Schmalgermeier 
A Fire and Protest June 1913
postcard - Ebay
Bismarck Company 
finally buys the land under its feet
A Critics Review in 1914
The  New Marigold Room
 in 1916
 a zoomed view below
1916 advertisement - Chicago Daily Tribune
was an issue in 1917

Postcard 1916 - CowCard.com
Chicago Daily Tribune Ad 
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 Weeghman Park aka Wrigley Field Daily News Archives
postcard from Ebay

Chicago Daily Tribune Ads 

photo - Chuckman Collection 
of the building from past to present. 
The Chicago Tribune articles below 
about it Evolution
Big Bill Thompson, a resident of Lake View East and candidate for Mayor of Chicago campaigns at the Gardens in 1915
Signage at Weeghman Park 
aka 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'
(My Facebook Album)
A Labor Strike 
Chicago Daily Tribune
 in 1923
token - Ebay
The location as of 1923
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
color version vs black & white
with a better zoomed view below
a 2020 Google Map 
The Vaudeville Years
Some of their Performers:
  photo - unllib.unl.edu
A Bio of one of their Popular Performers
photo - History for Sale
and then film star
The Marigold Gardens nightclub was managed by Henry Van Horne after 1923. He promoted a young woman named a Ruth Etting. She was born in 1896 and died in 1978, first was ‘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 called "Love Me or Leave Me" with Doris Day and James Cagney.
Linday Woods Story 
of her Great-Grandmother 
a contributor to LakeView Historical-Facebook 
"Linda Wood mentioned: "My great grandmother was a dancer in the chorus and was friends with Ruth Etting.The first newspaper clipping I have is 1915, and my great grandfather played the trombone with Fred Hamm [Orchestra] in the mid-20s at the club. My great-grandmother was the wardrobe mistress for the Marigold [Gardens] and the other local dance palaces. I loved hearing the stories from my mom retold of those old days. 
She is in the top row [of the above photo], third from the left." 
photo - Linda Wood 
highlighting her great grandmother
with a view of her great grandfather below
photo from Linda Wood with great-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
Listen to the sounds of that band and its era with 
this YouTube link and this link.
More Family Photos from Linda Wood
photo below via John Crieghton
from Living History of Illinois and Chicago-Facebook
The Beginning of the End 
for the Gardens
1) German Attitude
2) No Booze
3) Labor Strikes
The 19th Federal amendment to the US constitution would follow some direr times for the Gardens. Months before the national law  Mayor of Chicago, Big Bill Thompson agreed band liquor on Sundays to conform with a State of Illinois that recently passed a law of their own in 1919.
World War I years (1914-18) were years of difficult transitions for the Garden. The establishment almost closed entirely mostly due to hateful anti-German attitudes of anything German world-wide. Bismarck Gardens was named after the first German Chancellor Otto Van Bismarck of Germany. In Great Britain the royal family, due to public pressure, changed their last name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg Gotha in German) to an English surname - Windsor.  The 'gardens' popularity during the war years was the beginning of decline. The Gardens' owners also changed the name to an English sounding name - Marigold Gardens - named after one of their enclosed dining areas their renovated in 1916. 
from a book called 'Big Bill of Chicago'
The Preparedness Movement 1915-1916 evolved from 
German Empire's 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
And then their was 
Union Labor Unrest in 1917
The Day Book - Library of Congress
It got ugly with 
A Bomb Plot in 1917
 Demands to Change the Name 
of their Beer in 1917
Fill It Up with Something Then!
beer pitcher per Ebay
 Beer mugs used at both the Gardens and their hotel -  Ebay
Tea for Two
photos - Ebay

A Program Booklet 
Listen to the 
via YouTube 
Listen to the 
via YouTube 

Beer Garden to Cabaret 

The Ernie Young's Fall Frolics featured 
a semi-nude dancer named Sally Rand 

A Cabaret Performances by 1922
 Marigold Gardens is 
article note - 1896 is 1894
A Narrative 
of the Owners in 1928
Their Other Properties in Postcards:
The Bismarck Hotel
A New Era for the Property:
Vanity Fair Cafe

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 closed twice and then reopened again

the matchbook is part of my collection
The 'New' Vanity Fair by 1932

Rainbo Gardens 
Leased a Section of it in 1935
The Boxing & Wrestling Years:
with Another Name Changed to
 Marigold Arena
By the early 1930's through early 50's Marigold Gardens now called Marigold Arena became the location for regional and nationally acclaimed boxing/wrestling matches
Below is a Review
of the Arena's History in 1977

Some Articles of this Time Period
(click on article to enlarge)
Concerts during the Depression 
 Section of Property 
Sold in 1937
One of the brothers still owned the land

An Aerial View in 1938
NETR Historical Aerials
X marks the spot
Boxing Metals -  Ebay
Boxing line-up card - (front & back) Ebay
a 1939 ticket
image - Ebay
a 1940 Advertisement ...
a 1941 wrestling ticket
 from Ebay 
a 1941 article about a Boxing Event
 Scorecard 1949 - Ebay
1949 ticket - Ebay
Boxing Newspaper Photo in 1949
1953 tickets - Ebay
 photo - Ebay

A Memory from a Val Ginter:
"I went there for wrestling a lot while in grammar school around 1949 until about 1952. My dad worked with Lou Talaber, whose son Frankie was a famous wrestler, and Lou was a referee--though not at his son's matches. So we always got free passes to either Madison Arena or Marigold Gardens. During intermission, I used to hang out by the WGN-TV mobile unit. We used to buy Wrestling As You Like It, and my covers were filled with autographs I got from Farmer Don Marlin, Billy Hickson, Dutch Howlett, and the names go on. My dad destroyed all of that when I went into the army." 
Ringside Tickets 1953 - Ebay
Newsletters from Ebay:

For TV Viewing
image above - Ebay
image below - Forgotten Chicago website
Lady Wrestling ...
Jack Brickhouse in the 1950's
‘Wrestling from Marigold’ 
is an American sports program broadcast from the Marigold (Gardens) Arena in Chicago which aired on the Du Mont Television Network from Saturday, September 17, 1949, until March 1955. The show was either 90 or 120 minutes, usually on Saturdays at 9pm ET, and continued to be broadcast on WGN-TV as a non-network show until 1957 starring Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd. The show was broadcast live by WGN from Marigold  Arena and produced by National Wrestling Alliance with promoter as the Fred Kohler, with play-by-play by Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd as the announcers. This was the last network TV broadcast of wrestling in the U.S. until 'Saturday Night's Main Event' on NBC in 1985 - Wikipedia
Jiu Jitsu Classes in the 1960's
Ebay photos
Property Finally Sold in 1950

From Challenging Chicago: Coping with Everyday Life 
A Religious Congregation 
takes over in 1963
Places Near By: 
The Wishing Well
Trail's End
Marigold Car Service by 1952
On the corner of Bradley Place & Halsted stood
and then later in 1963 
along Bradley Place and Halsted
Marigold Car Service
image - David Akiyama contributor
part of  my collection
Harry Fischman Liquors
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
Across the Street on Grace Street was the
Marigold Arcade
bowling alley while at the same time the Marigold Arena popularity in boxing/wrestling matches continued ...
A Chicago Trib article 1950
(click on article to enlarge)
Matchbook Cover - Ebay
photos - Dr. Jake's Bowling History Blog
a 2003 mention from The Rough Guide to Chicago
A New Development 
Planned in 2009
Google view just before the planned development
According to this interactive aerial photography (1962-1973) the most buildings and garden structures of the beer garden space had
disappeared or had been replaced with a parking lot and a Ihop.
photo below - Tony Garza/LakeView Historical
the parking lot view towards Bradley Place on Halsted Street
The New Look by 2010
the former Bismarck/Marigold Garden area
 images via DNAinfo
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 
where the initial beer garden building stood. 
The grayish dwellings are not part of the proposed development. 
Construction began in 2012

 photos - garry albrecht
photo - garry albrecht
photo - Yo Chicago
The Other Beer Gardens of the Area:
The Kaiser Gaerten
1910 postcard - Chuckman Collection
a 1894 map view below
a view of the area with a zoomed views of the building
Some sorta of dance hall remained by 1923
The Name-Bearer
Below a photo of Kaiser Wilhelm I who was first German emperor 1871-1888 and King of Prussia 1861-1888
Thielmann's Resort & Gardens
built in the Township of Lake View as Fisher's Gardens
This garden/resort was a very popular dinner place according 
to several references discovered online
1887 Sanborn Map from Historic Map Works
know at the time as Fisher's prior to 1890
The Press Announcement in 1890
1891 Rascher's Atlas Map
notice Boat Loading Dock, Plank Walk, and Pavilon Platform 
jetting into the lake below
1894 Sanborn Fire Map 

highlighting the existing shoreline
with a zoomed view below
some press photos 
from the Chicago Daily Tribune
The Fire in 1900
Franz Thielmann also owned 
Lincoln Park Beach 
just yards away
apparently just an outside summer entertainment area
along with his resort buildings  
postcard - Ebay
1893 ad - Chicago and its Suburbs
this 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows the entrance 
off Lake View Avenue with a zoomed view below
zoomed further still below
Some 1894 Advertisements:
Apparently by 1910 Thielmann's Lincoln Park Beach was closed 
but with future plans for area by the city
The Rienza Beer Garden & Café
northeast corner of Diversey & Broadway

postcards - 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. 
A Sanborn Fire Map view in 1894
 a zoomed view of the location below
postcards - Chicago History in Postcards
the beer garden space 1910 
postcard - Chuckman Collection 
postcard - Ebay
The Sounds of Entertainment
text - Forgotten Chicago Discussion Group
transitioned from a beer garden cafe
to a apartment-hotel 
one door east of the initial location
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 before 
during the Lake View township days
From this same general location in 1864 stood the mustering Civil War Camp called Camp Fry that was once referred to as in the area of Wright Woods and then after the war the subdivision of area called Wright Grove to be later called simply Wrightwood.
text below from a publication called the Lake View Saga
The Summer Picnic Groves 
of Old Lake View:

image above - The Chicago Food Encyclopedia

“Ogden's Grove, Wright's Grove, Brand's Park, Hoffman Park, and Schutzen Park (pre-Riverview) are among the picnic groves that dotted the Chicago metropolitan area well into the twentieth century. Many were located along rivers and streams, which provided a picturesque backdrop for summer outings. Popular especially among German immigrants, these groves were the scene of special events sponsored by churches, businesses, unions, and clubs.” 

Wright's Grove
a series of articles:
A Picnic in the Summer of 1860
Another Picinc in August
A 4th of July Celebration in 1869
A Gathering in 1871
A Musical Festival 
of 20k Folks in 1881
The Belmont Grove
located across the street from Shuetzen Park; 
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 with a zoomed view below
 The Miller's Garden
1894 Sanborn Fire Map with a zoomed view below
 The Poplar Grove
1894 Sanborn Fire Map with a zoomed view below
The Columbus Grove
Belmont/Sheffield location
(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 from a 1923 map
Addison/Ashland location
(no name indicated) (list as a summer garden)
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map 
a zoomed view below
Clark/Lawrence location
(no name indicated)
Township of Lake View
south of Lawrence Avenue along Clark Street 
(Rainbo Gardens was located north of Lawrence)
a 1887 view of the establishment on Lawrence
 1894 Sanborn Fire Map
with a zoomed view below
Other Beer Northside Gardens of Note: 
Rainbo Gardens
District of Lake View
currently the Community of Uptown
once located at 4812-36 N 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 via Ebay
(click on article to enlarge)

From Beer to Rink
photo - Led Zeppelin Reference
along with its last day in pictures
Green Mill Gardens
District of Lake View
currently the Community of Uptown
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. 
Harms Park
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 of Lake View Township. The picnic area was located at the northeast corner of Western Avenue at Berteau and then extended to Lincoln Avenue. 
A Celebration of 71 Years in 1945
By 1946 Mr. Harms sold his property to private developers. According to Curb Chicago, 'Mr. Harms bought the land in the late 1850's and used it as a picnic grove for many years, eventually putting up a family home (turned restaurant) in 1892. A year later, the land joined Chicago's park system. Forgotten Chicago details the $1.3M federal housing project was nearly built on site in 1933, but the land became single-family homes and a car dealership instead.'

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