18 AUGUST 13, 2020 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: THE WAY IT WAS
Remembering a long-forgotten Glendale picnic park
A pole adorned with fruit, vegetables and fl owers was the centerpiece of harvest festivals held at Glendale Scheutzen Park, a picnic park that once
occupied much of eastern Glendale. Ridgewood Times archives/Courtesy Greater Ridgewood Historical Society
BY THE OLD TIMER
Stretching across nearly nine acres of land,
Glendale Schuetzen Park was one of the most
popular picnic parks in the Greater Ridgewood
area at the turn of the 20th century.
There are little, if any, reminders of the spring
and summertime destination where the park was
once located, off the corner of Myrtle Avenue
and Woodhaven Boulevard, between roughly
present-day Union Turnpike and Forest Park.
Picnic parks served as “staycation” destinations
for working class New Yorkers in the
late 1800s and early 1900s — a place to spend a
beautiful spring or summer day out in nature,
and enjoy some good food and beer with family
Glendale Schuetzen Park opened in 1893. It was
built by Charles Deckelmann, a native of Bavaria
who emigrated to America in 1863 at the age of 19.
A butcher by trade, he was eventually convinced
by a friend to move on from the meat business
and into picnic parks.
Between 1887 and 1893, he operated Ridgewood
Park and Grauer’s Colosseum in Ridgewood.
Working with several partners, Deckelmann
went on to purchase the land for Glendale
Schuetzen Park from brewer John Delz and his
partners for the tidy sum of $12,500.
The park was the largest in Glendale and could
accommodate up to 7,500 patrons. It featured a
restaurant, hotel, two dance halls, a separate
dance pavilion, a carousel, a bowling alley, stage,
museum and even large indoor and outdoor
Deckelmann operated the park until 1897, when
he leased it for three years to Bernhard (Barney)
Koenig, who had been operating the El Dorado
Park at the southwest corner of Myrtle Avenue
and Woodhaven Boulevard. Koenig and his wife
subsequently moved into the hotel at Glendale
During the summer, Koenig hosted an annual
harvest festival featuring a large pole decorated
with fruits, vegetables and flowers. The local
nurseries also displayed lavish beds of flowers
at the park.
Oktoberfest became a tradition at the park
every late September. Guests enjoyed Welz and
Zerwick beer, brewed in nearby Brooklyn.
The story of Deckelmann took a sad turn
around the turn of the century. In 1900, after
Koenig decided not to renew his lease for operating
Glendale Schuetzen Park, Deckelmann leased
Charles Deckelmann Ridgewood Times archives