City of Mound
Mound's "Surfside Park & Beach"
was platted in 1881 and consists of two parcels. Little is known of its history until 1935, when the northerly parcel was purchased for $350. The southerly parcel consists of five lots. Four of the lots were purchased for a total of $2001 in 1940, and the remaining lot was purchased for $1000 in 1962.
The park's earliest neighbor
to the east, the Chapman House Hotel, was homesteaded in 1881. The hotel was located where Chapman Place Condominiums are located today. The park parcel was part of the original plat that extended all the way around the north shore of Cooks Bay to Island Park. Land was so cheap and people so scarce in the 1880's that the Chapman's (Arthur, Seymour and Sumner) advertised they would "give a lakeshore lot on Cooks Bay to anyone who would build a permanent home on it and live here year around".
After the 1920's,
when the Chapman House Hotel closed, Mrs. Hattie Chapman Taylor rebuilt the boathouse associated with the famous hotel into an attraction for the younger people in the area. It offered bowling, billiards, food and beverage on the first floor and roller skating with music on the second floor. She named it "The GlenIsle Casino." The name "GlenIsle" didn't stick, but the name "Casino" did until the early 1960's. At that time the Casino was purchased by Bob and Joan Smeasteadt, who renamed it "The Surfside."
With each new owner,
from 1963 through 1984, the Surfside kept gaining popularity, from Mound to Minneapolis. Because of that popularity as an entertainment destination, the park also became known as Surfside, regardless of the official name of the park at any point in time.
Over the years
the area occupied by the park has been referred to as: Village Park, Village Park on Cooks Bay, Mound Bay Park on Cooks Bay, and Mound Park on Cooks Bay. It was known as Mound Bay Park from 1963 through October 2011 when, through the efforts of many, and led by local historian Tom Rockvam, the name was changed to match the name that was most frequently used: Surfside Park & Beach. Dedication of the name and monument took place on July 21, 2012 — the year in which Mound celebrated 100 years!