In planning this week’s blog we thought of two possibl topics: the start of summer (June 21st) and what was happening here in Davenport and the Quad Cities a hundred years ago. Both ideas came together when we found some wonderful advertisements in the local newspapers for summertime entertainment in 1918!
The week of June 17, 1918 started of with temperatures hitting 98 degrees and ended with some slightly cooler days. Some of these outdoor events may have looked enticing to local residents:
A bicycle ride in the countryside could have been a welcome escape from the muggy city:
In the cooler summer evenings, carnivals and dances were popular entertainments:
Some may have found indoor activities, such as a movie or vaudeville show, to be an attractive entertainment option. While we could find no evidence that local theaters had any kind of air conditioning, the Garden Theatre claimed it was “20 degrees cooler” inside.
Then as now, going out for ice cream was a standard summertime activity!
Our favorite advertisement is for this relaxing evening at the Riverview Tea Room atop the Putnam Building:
The Riverview Tea Room opened on September 26, 1914 on the ninth floor of the Putnam Building. The proprietresses were Miss Josephine Perry and Miss Mabel Dunham, recent graduates of the University of Chicago Domestic Services Department. The Tea Room perched on the highest point in the city at that time, offering wonderful views. Miss Perry left the business in March 1915 to become a teacher in the Domestic Services Department at the University of Chicago. The business, though very successful, closed officially in October of 1918 when the remaining owner, Miss Perry, returned to Chicago to serve the war effort as head of the Cafeteria and Hostess House at the Chicago Great Lakes Training Station. The Tea Room never reopened. However, spectacular views of the city and the Mississippi River may still be had from the ninth floor of the Putnam Building today, at The Current Iowa hotel’s UP Skybar and Lounge.
Now, if you will please excuse us, we are off to find some comfortable steamer chairs to recreate the Riverview Tea Room experience for ourselves!
(posted by Amy D.)
The Davenport Daily Times, September 25, 1914, 6.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader, March 4, 1915, 12.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader, June 17, 1918, 5.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader, June 19, 1918, 2.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader, June 21, 1918, 8, 11.
The Daily Times, June 22, 1918, 4, 6.
The Davenport Democrat and Leader, June 23, 1918, 4, 7.
The Davenport Daily Times, October 7, 1918, 6.