If you want to know how naughty and bad Bucktown really was, stop by the German American Heritage Center, 712 W. 2nd St., Davenport, at 2 p.m. on Saturday for a talk by Jane Simonsen of Augustana College.|
Her presentation -- "Crossing Perry Street: Working Women & Sporting Men in 'Der freie Staat Scott'" (which means "the free state of Scott") -- will focus on the period of the Prohibition era when Davenport was one of the wickedest places in the Midwest. After the talk, Dr. Simonsen will lead those who are interested on a walk through the Bucktown neighborhood, where the beer flowed and the action followed.
This neighborhood in east Davenport was known for its speakeasies, dance halls, German music pavilions and brothels. In 1903, Bishop Henry Cosgrove preached against Bucktown, which, he said, made Davenport "the wickedest city for its size in America." He described it as a place where "young maidens were lured into wine rooms, and unsuspecting farmers were rolled for their money."
It did have 42 documented brothels in a two-block area, and you could get anything you wanted there for a buck -- hence the name.
One of the celebrated clubs of the early 1900s was Brick Munro's Summer Garden and Dancing Pavilion, located on the present site of the Bucktown Center for the Arts. More than 1,000 people would gather there at night to drink beer and listen to singing waiters on a small stage. It was known as Brick's Dime-a-Dance Saloon.
Admission for Saturday's talk, which includes museum admission, is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children ages 5-17 and free for GAHC members.
This program is part of a series relating to the exhibit "Suds!," which focuses on breweries that operated here and the taverns and saloons where settlers gathered. The exhibit will be on display through Oct. 28. For more information, call (563) 322-8844 or visit gahc.org.
Geneseo, IL Details
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