bowery n1 [Evidently akin to bower, but the source of the-y suff is not obvious; perh by assoc with the well-known neighborhood of NYC The Bowery (which only gained its current unsavory reputation in the mid-19th century).] orig chiefly Nth, N Midl; later esp Rocky Mts Cf bowery dance n
An open, often temporary structure, sometimes roofed with green boughs, typically used to shelter participants at large gatherings such as Fourth of July picnics, fairs, or weddings; in recent use, a picnic shelter in a park.
1782 Thomas’ MA Spy or Worcester Gaz. (MA) 19 Sept /2 seNY, The encampment now formed at Verplank’s point is said . . to be the most regular and uniform of any since the war. The whole is decorated with a bowery of interwoven verdure, equally useful and elegant, which extends from right to left of the line. 1787 PA Packet & Daily Advt. (Philadelphia) 13 Jan /2, [Advt:] The premises contain 12 good rooms for the accommodation of Gentlemen, . . also . . a genteel, well improved garden, ornamented with fruit trees. . , as well as boweries for the reception of select companies in the summer season. 1799 VT Gaz. (Bennington) 8 Aug /2, They will return to the State Arms tavern, and partake of a dinner to be provided for the occasion; the company will then convene in a bowery erected for their reception, where a number of toasts will be drank, under the discharge of cannon. 1810 Cuming Sketches 227 wPA, [Publisher’s footnote:] Through the middle of [the grove] . . runs a long frame bowery. . . Here a portion of the citizens meet on each 4th of July. 1830 in 1892 WI State Hist. Soc. Coll. 12.189 NY author in WI, Ordered that Mr. Arndt . . be paid for building a Bowery covered with Boards, and seated for 500 people. 1857 Deseret News (Salt Lake City UT) 29 July 165/4, Three spacious boweries, with plank floors, had been provided by the B. C. Lumber Company, and a large number passed the evening in the joyous dance. 1876 Jackson Sentinel (Maquoketa IA) 28 Sept 1/3, The usual number of stands, eating houses, boweries, swings, games, etc., graces the grounds [of the county agricultural fair]. 1878 Beadle Western Wilds 341 cnUT, At once the brethren were called together in the bowery—an open shed where they usually worshiped. 1894 Defiance Eve. News (OH) 9 Aug /4 (newspaperarchive.com), Defiance has a bowery, and last night it had a bowery dance. 1904 Salt Lake Tribune (UT) 1 Sept 12/3, His amendment provides that “ in open-air boweries or beer gardens in pleasure resorts . . , liquor may be sold or served . . at all hours during the resort season.” 1913 La Crosse Tribune (WI) 26 June 5/5, After supper dancing was begun in two large boweries and also on the barn floor. 1928 Star Valley Independent (Afton WY) 11 May /3 (newspaperarchive.com), It proved to be Wardell Clinger’s old boweries at the race track. The fire was discovered at ten thirty and the cause is yet unknown. Clinger . . intends to build everything new for the 3rd and 4th of July. 1941 Casa Grande Dispatch (AZ) 4 July 1/1, The Pima Indians have planned an excellent program full of activity for a big two day celebration on Independence Day. . . Large boweries have been built to furnish shade. 1966 Eve. Tribune (Albert Lea MN) 23 Feb 17/4, The families who could afford something special when one of the members of their family was to be married, would erect a plank platform which was called a bowery. . . These platform boweries were erected and used from the 1900 period to near 1933. 1967 Schilla Prairies 161 ND (as of 1887–1906), There usually was a bowery built for the Fourth of July dances. It consisted of a platform with a wooden floor and studdings to hold up a roof, which was covered with the branches of trees. 1967 DARE Tape ID11, It’s really a pioneer term, I think. . . They would gather . . trees and make poles out of them, make . . uprights to hold a roof, they didn’t have walls, and then on the roof they’d place limbs with the leaves on it, to make a covering for meeting places, and they used these in . . Salt Lake Valley before they built any buildings, to assemble great numbers of people. They called ’em a bowery. That’s quite commonly used today by people in this area to designate a covering, oh, like in a public park. [FW:] Picnic shelter. [Inf:] Yes. 1968 DARE FW Addit seID, Bowery—either an auditorium or an amphitheater. “Next year we will try to have the family reunion at a place where there is a bowery.” 1976 Salt Lake Tribune (UT) 3 Jan 27/5, Granite Park—It took the early birds to get the choice reservations Friday for boweries and buildings operated by the Salt Lake County Recreation Department.