Date: c. 1948
Description: This photograph shows some of the rides and attractions that were part of Riverview Park, an amusement park previously located in what is now Riverside Park. Riverview Park officially began in 1927 and in its time was one of the city’s top entertainment attractions. The park featured many different rides, including a Ferris wheel, chair plane, and fun house, all shown in this photo. There were also many different food vendors and a picnic area. The fun house was the oldest building on the complex, previously one of the exhibit halls for the Interstate Livestock Fair. There was also a midget racecar track on the grounds that was converted into an automobile racetrack after the park closed.
The park hit its peak in the few years before the Depression, when people had expendable income to spend on such amusements. When the Great Depression swept the nation the park provided a key means of cheap entertainment to override the struggles and hardships of the time. After the Depression the park was remodeled in 1937, and it continued to provide entertainment for many years. The park closed officially in 1953, and the rides and attractions were dismantled to make way for a proposed auditorium, but these plans were scrapped. Eventually a drive-in theatre was built near the site, which itself was discontinued with the construction of a new Interstate 29 off ramp.
Donor: Robert Stolze