Then & Now
June 27, 2013 10:00PM
The Then photograph shows a view of the main entrance to Dellwood Park from under the railroad tracks | Photo courtesy of David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections.
Updated: July 30, 2013 6:15AM
Dellwood Park — Lockport
The Chicago & Joliet Electric Railway Co. built Dellwood Park in 1905-06 to increase the number of railway riders. Costing nearly $300,000 to build, Dellwood Park officially opened July 4, 1905, and quickly became one of the most beautiful park sites in Illinois. During its peak years, as many as 15,000 people visited the park on weekends during company picnics. For more than 30 years, Dellwood Park was one of the most-loved amusement, recreational and picnic areas in the region. North of Joliet in Lockport, the park included a man-made lagoon, a waterfall, a boathouse, a dance hall that could accommodate 700 couples, grandstand for races, a merry-go-round, open-air theater, restaurant, a scenic railway ride, and other attractions that made the park a popular spot for thousands of annual visitors and society clubs from all over the area. As many as 10,000 people came to Dellwood Park on summer weekends, day and evening, to enjoy popular activities such as boating and dancing. During the winter months, visitors also would also enjoy ice skating on the frozen lake. The Then photograph shows a view of the main entrance to the park from under the railroad tracks. The Now image shows a similar view of the old entrance today.
David Belden is a history teacher at Minooka Community High School and is publishing local postcard books. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-467-2140, Ext. 260.