1899 to 1906, the area bounded by Kimball, Reber, Fletcher
and Campbell was the site of Home Park Race Track, a half-mile
oval that made Waterloo famous in horse racing circles throughout
The land, track,
grandstand, stalls and fences were financed through the
sale of shares in the Home Park Driving Association. The
track was built on half of an 80-acre site purchased for
$9,800. The east half of the tract was platted as the residential
Home Park Addition. Streets in the Addition (slough, Campbell,
Kingsley, Hartman, Kimball, etc.) were named after principal
stockholders in the Association. ,The west half of the tract
was set aside for the track itself and adjoining grounds.
and running events were featured at Home Park, which held
its first meet July 4-6, 1899. The grandstand was 150 feet
long, with seating for 2,500 spectators. Crowds estimated
at from 2,000 to 4,000 attended the inaugural meet, with
many persons crowding the infield or lining the fence.
Home Park witnessed
its first automobile race in 1902, with Lou Witry winning
in a car he designed and built at Waterloo Gasoline Engine
Company. Witry stopped his car after the first lap to make
repairs. The three other cars all passed Witry but he came
back to win the five- mile event by a lap. Automobile races
were a novelty attraction at Home Park for several years.
Home Park was
considered the fastest half-mile track in Iowa, and one
of the most popular. An attendance record of 11,804 was
set on July 4, 1906. This was topped the following September
3, Labor Day, by a crowd estimated at 20,000.
This proved to
be Home Park Race Track's last event. The city's growth
had made real estate sales more profitable than racing.
The Association closed the track in 1907 and divided Home
Park into 196 lots. These were sold at auction in 1908 for
prices ranging from $225 to $425.