Cream City Amusement Park, Lyons, IL. (1905 – 1908)
Cream City Amusement Park at 7601 W. Ogden Ave, Lyons, IL., was built in1905 in Lyons, Illinois, only 15 miles from Downtown Chicago on property that was previously Fred Schultz's quarry. The 45 acre site along the Des Plaines River was financed and controlled by wealthy Bohemian businessmen and a group of investors as a competitor to Chicago's White City. Joseph F. Klapka was chosen as the park’s general manager and promoter.
The park’s name was derived from the fact that all its buildings and towers were painted with a crème tint. Its main feature covering 15 acres was a reproduction of “Old Bohemia” (Czechoslovakia), featuring a Bohemian village with its picturesque streets, shops, modes of transportation, churches, theaters, natives, dancers, acrobats, musicians and mountain backdrop. Its large music hall seated 4,500 people and its dance pavilion held up to 1000 people, where live bands performed on weekends.
Its entrance had five Grecian towers nearly 100 feet high flanked by eight massive arches in the center. Beyond was a natural lagoon, beautifully illuminated at night. At the far end along the Des Plaines River were facilities for bathing and boating.
There is little known about the rides and game attractions, but an advertisement in "Amusement Business Billboard Publications: gives some hint. It wasn’t unusual for parks to seek independent concessionaires because only large well financed parks owned all their own rides and concessions. Cream City sported an Old Mill, Merry-Go-round, Roller Coaster, Circular swing, Cave of the Winds, Billiard and Pool Hall, Illusion Shows, Pony Track, Skating Rink, a Ferris Wheel, An Electric Theater, Penny Arcade, Gypsy Camp, Katzenjammer Castle, Photo Gallery, Shooting Gallery and Japanese Tea Garden.
Cream City survived only about a year, thanks in part to intense competition from White City, and it is believed, the beginnings of sewer work on Ogden Avenue that made reaching the park difficult.