Thursday, January 2, 2020

Highland (Amusement) Park, Quincy, Illinois. (1872-1919)

Quincy, Illinois, September 3, 1871 article - A natural grove of about twelve acres, lying between Eighteenth and Twentieth and Cherry and Spruce streets, and hitherto almost entirely unknown to the citizens of Quincy for want of access to it by way of any open and traveled street, will be reserved from sale. It will be suitably arranged for purposes of amusement and recreation and kept under such regulation as will maintain quite and good order and make it a most desirable place of resort for individuals and families. This Park will soon be accessible by way of Eighteenth Street and of Twentieth street, and the public is invited to examine and become acquainted with its attractions.

The park was created in 1872 and the stone pavilion was built in 1907. Highland Park was a happening place for entertainment and amusements including Public picnics, Boxing matches, Ice and roller skating, concerts and dances, many with prize money. 

There are no more advertisements, events or news of Highland Park after 1919.

The following are a few advertisements from the local newspapers. If this isn't amusement, I don't know what is. (Note the use of the English language):

The Quincy Herald, Tuesday, June 15, 1875:
The 23rd Annual Pic-Nic of the St. Aloysus Orphan Society will take place at Highland Park on Wednesday, June 23, 1875. 

Kuehn's and Grosch's Bands will be in attendance all day. No pepsins will be spared to entertain those who will favor us with their presence. Grand preparations are being made to have all the delicacies of the season. The public is respectfully invited to attend.



The Quincy Whig, Thursday, May 24, 1883:
GRAND TURNFEST! Twenty-first Annual Turnfest of the St. Louis District, at Quincy, June, 9,10,11, and 12. 300 Turners to compete for prizes at Highland Park, Sunday and Monday, June 10 and 11. Reduced rates on all railroad and steamboat lines. Admission to Highland Park, 25¢.
NOTE: The first German gymnastic festival (Turnfest) was held in Coburg, Germany in 1860. The festival attracted affiliated Turnverein clubs and marked the beginning of the international competition, as the growing family of Turners outside of Germany were invited to participate in the sport.


The Quincy Daily Whig, Friday, December 28, 1883:
Highland Park Skating Rink. The lake in Highland Park is now covered with a nice sheet of ice, and the rink is open to those who enjoy skating. Admission 10¢.



The Quincy Daily Whig, Wednesday, September 03, 1884:
At Highland Park. Exercises by various classes and music by the band. Admission 10¢. Children in the company with parents free.



The Quincy Daily Journal, Tuesday, December 13-15, 1892:
LATEST CRAZE! Roller Skating. The program this week at Highland Park: One delightful Roller Skating Party Wednesday Night. Another Party on Friday Night. And still another Saturday Afternoon. Rink open from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, when prizes will be awarded to the best Lady skater and best Gentleman Skater. SKATES FREE. Admission 15¢. On Saturday ladies will be admitted free. New Skates of the latest pattern just received. Go to Highland and enjoy yourself. No objectionable characters admitted. No liquors sold on the ground and ladies need to have no fear of toughe (as spelled in the ad).



The Quincy Daily Journal, Monday, September 23, 1895:
ELECTRIC WATERFALLS - Fifty-Five Feet High. Highland Park, September 25 to 29, Inclusive. This is positively the first successful manipulation of coloring falling water in one body. The transformation object effects are astounding, even to the most learned. These blended with color make the Grandest Spectacular ever exhibited here. Admission 10¢ - All can go.

The Quincy Herald, Monday, September 30, 1895:
ELECTRIC LUMINOUS WATERFALLS! Highland Park, October 1 to 6. The only Falls of the kind in America, Finest thing ever yet seen. Admission 10¢.



The Quincy Daily Whig; Wednesday, June 06, 1900:
HIGHLAND PARK A.J. Beamer, Proprietor, and Manager. Big Specialty Show Every Night. Harry D'Esta; America's Funniest Ventriloquist. Sam-The Kelleys-Ida; The funniest (again how the ad spelled it) of fun makers. Comer; The great slack wire performer and juggler. Mrs. Comer; Smoke Picture Artist. Wm. H. Rhoads; and his royal English mannikin theater. Prize dancing Wednesday and Friday nights. Matinee Saturday and Sunday.




The Quincy Daily Whig, Tuesday, July 10, 1900:
Pain's Gigantic Military and Fireworks Spectacle. THE BATTLE OF SAN JUAN. Pain's latest and Greatest Outdoor Historical Production, at Highland Park, Quincy, Three Nights only. Commencing Tuesday, July 10, TONIGHT. Military Band Concert, Superb Specialties, the Most Thrilling Battle Scene Ever Depicted, Concluding With $1,000 Display of Pain's Fireworks. Gates open at 7 o'clock. The performance begins at 8:30. Ample car service. Admission, including seats, 50¢ and 75¢, Box chairs, $1. Children, 25¢. Seats now selling at Christie's and Dashwood's pharmacies.



The Quincy Daily Whig, Sunday, August 16, 1903:
At Highland Park, this afternoon admission free, dancing 10¢. Tonight, admission 10¢, and dancing free after the performance.



The Quincy Daily Whig, Saturday, December 28, 1907:
Jack Benuschulte, of Quincy, and Jack Root, the ex-champion lightweight of the World, will box three rounds at Highland Park tonight after the Polyscope pictures, same as shown at the Empire (Theater) last night. Admission, Performance begins at 8 o'clock.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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