The Turnhalle and Opera House, Davenport, Iowa, ca. 1890


Among other affiliations, Oscar Koehler was a leading member of the Davenport Turner society, a gymnastics and physical education club that also organized cultural and educational programs for its almost exclusively German-American membership. The society’s prominence within the Davenport community was reflected by the scale and grandeur of its headquarters, which are shown here. This imposing neo-Romanesque construction was built in 1888 by German-American architect Friedrich Clausen. In 1895, Clausen built a Victorian mansion for Henry Koehler, Sr., in the city’s “Gold Coast” neighborhood. From: Davenport, Iowa. Indelible Photographs. New York, NY: The Abertype Co. [1890], n.p.

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