Lakeside was built in 1927 in Guttenberg, Iowa and was a popular establishment during the prohibition era. The structure, built by William H. Kann and Sons, was erected at a cost of $27,000 and had a dance floor 50 x 160 feet. The dance floor was built with 1 ¼” hardwood maple on springs so that people would not get tired when dancing.
They painted LAKESIDE in large letter on the roof of the building to use for aerial dead-recognizing navigation, the only method of navigation at the time. Lindberg and other pioneer aviators used Lakeside as a checkpoint flying from Minneapolis to Chicago and St. Louis.
In 1935 Del Morley and Ed Eberhard purchased the Ballroom from the Kanns. A bar room 20 x 80 feet was added at that time.
Russ Reinitz managed Lakeside for Mrs. Morley after the passing of her husband. Russ booked several bands such as the Everly Brothers in the 1950’s. Russ was always on the run around Lakeside on dance night to make sure everything was running smoothly, but he was not moving so fast that he couldn’t stop and tell a joke. It was through his hard work and dedication that Lakeside Ballroom was one of the most popular places in Northeast Iowa!
Big bands like Jan Garber, Russ Morgan, Dick Jurgens, Eddy Howard, Griff Williams and Leo Pieper all played under the hanging lights at Lakeside. Lakeside also had big entertainers such as Lawrence Welk, Leo Greco and his Pioneers, Johnny Kettleson, Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, Tommy Overstreet, Guy Lombardo, Herman’s Hermits, Hank Thompson, Mickey Gilley, The Grassroots, Tommy James and the Shondells, Head East, Willie Nelson and Ray Price!!!
Lakeside was nearly lost in the flood of 1965 when there was 5 feet of water covering the dance floor. The US Army Corps of Engineers loaded it with dynamite for demolition in case it floated into the Lock and Dam.
The Ballroom has held over 1,500 people for dances numerous times over the years, with some bands drawing over 2,000 people.
In 2006 Lakeside was purchased by Lakeside Preservation Committee, LLC. Lakeside is currently owned by Jeff and Kari Friedlein and Ross and Mary Abbott. Our goal is to restore the building back to near-original condition and bring back the lifestyle of it’s yester-years.
There were originally 200 ballrooms in the State of Iowa. Lakeside is one of a handful that still remains open.
Lakeside is on the National Register of Historic Places.