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Dolores Haugh Riverview Amusement Park collection

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Riverview

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection of materials about the Riverview Amusement Park, which operated in Chicago from 1904 to 1967. Materials reflect attitudes surrounding leisure activities, pop culture, and social customs from the early to mid-twentieth century.

Materials include aerial photographs, blueprints, photographs of patrons, employees, and rides, advertising materials and publicity, brochures, newspaper clippings, correspondence, tickets, catalogs, receipts, meeting minutes, patents, and stationery.


  • Creation: 1904-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1904-1977



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Dolores Haugh Riverview Amusement Park collection is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Dolores Haugh Riverview Amusement Park collection are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Dolores Haugh

Dolores Haugh was born in Chicago on October 2, 1923. Deciding to move due to Mount Prospect in 1952 due to the village’s building codes, Haugh and her husband soon became deeply involved in the Mt. Prospect community. In 1967 Haugh became one of the founding members of the Mt. Prospect Historical Society, then executive director of the Mt. Prospect Chamber of Commerce in 1980. Haugh spent fifty years working as a journalist for the several local newspapers, and became editor of the Prospect Day during the 1970s. Haugh’s “Haugh to Plan a Party” column was particularly popular, each article consisting of sets of instructions for planning parties following different themes. Haugh also started many Mt. Prospect traditions, including the annual Teddy Bear Walk and the farmer’s market. She was awarded the “Living Legend Award” at the “Shining Star” dinner in 1995 for being a “formidable and admirable local legend.” Dolores Haugh passed away on January 10, 2019 at the age of 95.

History of Riverview Amusement Park

Riverview Amusement Park began as a sharpshooter park in the late 1800s. Established by Wilhelm A. Schmidt, “Schuetzen Park” gradually added a carousel and swing set as activities to keep the wives and children of the entertained. What started as a few modest rides grew to a full amusement park by the early 1900s, becoming known as “Riverview Sharpshooters Park” (later changing to simply “Riverview Park”) in 1904. The ride “The Bobs” was added in the 1920s, and the wooden roller coaster soon became the most popular attraction at Riverview. Other rides included a free-fall parachute ride known as Pair-o-Chutes; Aladdin’s Castle funhouse; The Bobs roller coaster; and Shoot the Chutes. Riverview was also home to several less wholesome attractions, such as the Freak House and the African Dip. The latter consisted of several high, narrow cages in which sat black men who shouted insults at spectators, who were encouraged to throw balls at a metal disc attached to the cage which when hit would drop the men into a tub of water. This “attraction” went on until the final years of the park.

After operating for over six decades, Riverview closed its doors in October of 1967. The last surviving ride, the original carousel, can now be found at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta. The former site of Riverview Amusement Park at Belmont and Western Avenues in Chicago is now home to a strip mall.


8.8 Linear Feet (5 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Riverview Park archival records, including correspondence, accounts, publicity materials, concession contracts, minutes and reports, photographs, scrapbooks, clippings, and advertising materials, salvaged by Dolores Haugh from the abandoned park office one week before it burned down. Reports, minutes, correspondence, and other documents date mainly from the early years of the park. Advertising materials, clippings, and photographs are mainly from the last decades of park operation. There is information about rides and concessions, including the famous "Bobs," events like the Riverview Ramble and Mayor William Hale Thompson's 1920s outings for school children, staff members, and the general operation of the park. Also materials gathered by Haugh for her newspaper articles and her book, Riverview Amusement Park (2004).


Materials arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 40 3, 1 30 2


Gift, Dolores Haugh, 2007.

Processed by

Kayla Sheffey, 2019.

Inventory of the Dolores Haugh Riverview Amusement Park collection, 1904-1977
Kayla Sheffey
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-11-11: Corrections made and additional date information added.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States