History of the Lincoln Park Archery Range
(and Chicago Archery in general)
Archery experienced an explosion in popularity in 1878 back east due to the publication of The Witchery Of Archery: A Complete Manual Of Archery by Maurice Thompson of Crawfordsville, Indiana. The resurgence hit Chicago in 1879 and resulted in the founding of the original North Side Archery Club in Lincoln Park, and the Chicago Archery Club in Washington Park. These two clubs would be integral to the founding of the National Archery Association (currently USA Archery) along with Maurice Thompson and many others. It was through this relationship that Chicago would host the first ever National Archery Championship at White Stockings Park.
The original North Side Archery Club had their home range on Lincoln Park's south lawn, and would personally host the Grand Western Tournament as well as the 4th National Championship Tournament in Lincoln Park. (1) Alas the popularity of Archery waned, and by 1888 a decision was undertaken by the remaining North Side Archery Club members to merge with Chicago Archery Club under the Chicago Archery Club name. (2)
Archery would make its permanent return to Lincoln Park in 1926, when a group of 30 archers successfully petitioned the commissioners of Lincoln Park to set aside space for an Archery range near Waveland Avenue. The current range, though, does not appear to sit on the spot originally set forth.(3) When Lincoln Park was expanded in 1938 to its current size, the range was relocated to its current spot.
1970 found the range once again hosting an international tournament, the Ambassadors Cup. This was a match between the best of Canada and the United States. This event was noteworthy as contemporary accounts state that Linda Myers of York, PA shot a world record score on the FITA round. (4)
The range has spent the intervening 80 years seeing the fortunes of archery rise and fall in Chicago, from huge pre-WW2 tournaments featuring hundreds of archers from the city's 8+ clubs, to the eventual demise of most of the archery clubs in the city. We believe that the reborn North Side Archery Club is poised to steward the Lincoln Park range well into the future, and hopefully a return to the time of hosting regional, national and international tournaments in Lincoln Park.
(1) Chicago Daily Tribune "ARCHERY.: Grand Western Tournament. 9.25.1881 and Chicago Daily Tribune: "POLITE ATHLETICS.: Forthcoming Tournay of the National Archery" 5.7.1882"
(2) Chicago Daily Tribune: "An Archery Club Organized. 6.13.1888"
(3) 1925 Map of Lakeview and Lincoln Park
(4) Chicago Tribune: "TWO RECORDS IN AMBASSADOR" 8.30.1970”