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Your Link to the Past

Your Link to the Past

Riverside Park


riverside1What did the citizens of Sioux City do for entertainment in the late 1890s through the 1920s? The answer is Riverside Park. This part of the city was a major attraction for the region. From the first amusement park (complete with a roller coaster), to country clubs, picnic grounds, baseball fields, racing tracks, and fairgrounds, Riverside had it all.

The main attraction to the area was the Sioux River. Unlike the channelized river of today, the old Sioux was a slow moving, picturesque river up to two hundred yards in width. Because people had no air conditioning, being around water was a definite summer attraction. 

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Commerical Men's Boat Club

The Riverside Park area changed hands many times in the early years of the city. Theophile Bruguier owned the area for over twenty years before selling it around 1880. It was finally purchased in 1890 by the Riverside Park Land Company. Owners included: James Booge, John Hornick, John Peirce, E. C. Peters, and James Peavey. The intent of the company was to develop the land for houses, factories, and railway branch lines. Since many of these men also owned the City and Suburban Railway Company, the prospects for success seemed certain.


The Financial Panic of 1893 changed all their plans. Both the Land Company and the Railway Company went bankrupt. The railway company was purchased by the Sioux City Traction Company and a new company known Riverside Park Improvement Company purchased the land.

Read more: Commerical Men's Boat Club

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