Schuetzen Park Tokens Link to Neighborhood’s Past

Trade tokens aren’t typically seen all that much these days.  The heyday of trade tokens in the United States was the era of 1870 through 1920. Generally, these tokens were issued by merchants such as general stores, grocers, department stores, dairies, meat markets, drug stores, saloons, bars, taverns, barbers, coal mines, lumber mills and other businesses. Given the type of entities that issued tokens, and the era when they were most popular, its hard to imagine a type of token that could be strongly associated with the lower Georgia Avenue area. Yet, there are some — the tokens issued by Washington’s Schuetzen Park. The park was established shortly after the Civil War and a popular destination until it closed in 1891.

Schuetzen Park 1903 map(Detail of 1903 Baist’s Real Estate map showing location of Schuetzen Park. Today, Hancock Street is Kenyon Street and Morris Street is Hobart Street)

I’ve briefly touched upon the history of Schuetzen Park and the German community in the Georgia Avenue area before in digging into the history of the Steuben Monument that was once located there. That artifact is currently at the residence of the German ambassador. Schuetzen Park tokens are a little more accessible, but still not all that common. It is not entirely clear as to whether the numbers on the tokens denote monetary values or not, but three values are known. Washington Schuetzen Park tokens  are known in denominations of 5, 10, and 25. Below are two I’ve found in the 5 and 10 values.

Schuetzen Park token 5

Schuetzen Park token 10

 

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4 Comments on “Schuetzen Park Tokens Link to Neighborhood’s Past”

  1. Angry Parakeet Says:

    If Hancock is now Kenyon, is “McClellan St.” now Irving? Kenyon and Irving jog as shown. My house would be built a few lots from the park in 1910. Is (was) the pink rectangle in the park a building/park pavilion?

    • Kent Says:

      Yes, McClellan is now Irving. The pink rectangle was the large brick building for the Schuetzen gatherings.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    Thanks Kent – I don’t know how I missed that great item you wrote in January on the same subject but I read it now.


  3. […] to Native Americans; Abraham Lincoln, the civil war, & the emancipation proclamation; Schuetzen Park; Howard University; Griffith Stadium and the Senators & Grays; the Bakeries of lower […]


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