Ashford University Field's history is topic of May 16 History Club meeting

Riverview Stadium circa 1945-1951. Photo courtesy of the John Rowland Collection

CLINTON — The Clinton History Club will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 16, at Ashford University Field, home of the Clinton LumberKings.

Scheduled speakers are Eric Oas, director of broadcast and media relations; Ted Tornow, general manager; and Eric Van Lancker, Clinton Baseball Club board member. The public is invited to attend, and as individual preferences desire, bring “show & tell” artifacts, personal stories and trinkets from their own collections relating to the history of the stadium, the ball club and general baseball in Clinton.

The stadium’s construction was a Works Progress Administration project during President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration. Construction began in 1935 and lasted less than two years, with the inaugural game played May 9, 1937.

The stadium has had three names. Its original name was Riverview Stadium. It became Alliant Energy Field from the 2002 through 2011 seasons, and since 2012 has been known as Ashford University Field.

The stadium is the second oldest park in the Midwest League and has undergone just one major renovation since its creation. The entire cost of construction was $150,000. The 1937 design is still the prominent look of the park and is modeled in the art deco style, which was popular at the time.

Half of the park’s 5,000 seats are located underneath a canopied grandstand, a feature that is unique to Clinton and the Midwest League. A $3.8 million renovation in 2006 added new offices, a new home clubhouse, an upgraded patio/playground area, and a new playing surface.

Question: Do you know the official address of the Stadium? You will find out during Van Lancker's presentation.

Participation in the Clinton History Club is open to anyone with an enthusiasm for local history, and normally meets the third Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. There is no membership fee, and costs are non-existent unless expenditures are incurred for a singular event.

For information, contact Gregg Obren at gobren74@live.com or (563) 503-8345 or John Rowland at jrow242@gmail.com or (563) 593-1101. In addition, contact Obren or Rowland to give a presentation to your organization or club about the Clinton History Club and stories of local times gone by.