Nestled in the quaint Village of Foster Pond, Dreamland Palace was originally constructed in 1875 and initially served the small community as a tavern, general store, dance hall, and stage coach stop. In the 1800’s, Foster Pond was conveniently located an equal six miles between Waterloo Illinois and the Mississippi River. At that point in the town’s history, it acted as the resting point between Waterloo Illinois and the Mississippi River. Travelers at that time relied heavily on wagons and horses, and the versatile stopping point offered water for the horses, a place to restock supplies, and friendly folks ready to pour road weary travelers a cool drink. The Old Stone Hotel across the road offered cozy accommodations for those wanting an evening’s respite, as well as a blacksmith at the ready to repair wagon wheels, tools, saddles, or re-shoeing horses.
Named for Mr. Foster, the owner of the Old Stone Hotel, Foster Pond became familiar to area folks through a common question. Before traveling, the locals would always ask one another “Is Foster’s Pond flooded?” due to the flooding that occurred in front of the hotel after heavy rains. If the pond made the road impassable, travelers elected to take the “backwoods way.”
During the prohibition era in the early 1920’s, the owners decided a “dance hall” would serve it’s patrons well. The large hall was erected on the north side of the building, where they hosted weekly and sometimes even nightly dances. Elder members of the Monroe County community can still recall some amazing times had in the hall!
As the years past, the Old Stone Hotel was converted into a private residence and the town post office closed as Waterloo and Valmeyer grew. These changes decreased the traffic flow through the village, but Dreamland Palace thrived, as it was the ideal hot spot for weddings, dances, private parties, reunions, and “good ole fashioned get-togethers.”
A point of pride for the extensive German descendants in Monroe County, Foster Pond retains its original German roots and pays homage to the German Heritage that can be found throughout the area. The influx of German immigrants in the early 1830′s and again the late 1840′s made a long lasting impression in this county, and many folks still maintain the Old Country ideals and traditions. Dreamland Palace and the majority of the surrounding buildings were built by either German immigrants or those with direct German heritage.