Anyone with an interest in tourism in Cass County is invited to attend the annual meeting of the
Cass County Tourism Committee. It will be held at the American Legion Memorial Building
(Atlantic Armory) on Monday, February 16. Light appetizers and networking begins at 5:30 p.m. in
the remodeled meeting room, with a short business meeting at 6:00 p.m.
The highlight of the evening will be a tour of the ground level of the building, featuring several
remodeled areas including the Military Museum, updated restrooms, and the future library and
After the First World War the veterans in Cass County were quick to organize an American
Legion Post on June 19, 1919. An Auxiliary followed in May of 1925. Discussions were underway in
1927 to find a place for the Legion to meet. A fund-raising campaign began September, 1928.
Work began May, 1929 even though all funds had not been raised. The plans now called for a banquet
hall seating 450 persons at tables, store rooms, offices and a rifle range for the National Guard,
a gymnasium equipped for basketball, volleyball, handball, boxing, wrestling, indoor baseball and
seating for 900 people at basketball games. The American Legion Memorial Building was ready for
use by February, 1930.
Planners of the Atlantic American Legion Memorial Building intended that the community could
put it to a variety of uses. Over the years it has been used by the public, by the school system,
organized groups and businesses.
The Legion Memorial Building was a popular place for regular and holiday dances with local
groups providing music. Lawrence Welk played for a dance and concert on December 9, 1936. The
admission price was 35 cents for women and 65 cents for men. The Harlem Globe Trotters played an
exhibition game there in 1937. An annual Christmas dance was a tradition by 1948.
Boy Scouts of Atlantic were granted use of the building and gymnasium in the original plans.
They continued to use the Building for many years including annual spring “lock downs”. Another
youth group, AWANA, met there for many years. Atlantic Archers practiced and held competitions
during winter months.
The Building was used for Works Progress Administration (WPA) training classes during the late
1930’s. According to some sources, it was the preferred place for settling bar disputes. An incident
would be resolved by having the involved parties report to the drill room the next Saturday for a
Offices and meeting space for the Legion and Auxiliary were on the upper floor. Veterans began
meeting in other places in the 1950s. Current use includes a special room just for veterans’ groups
meetings. They also have storage space for their equipment. The space is also used by owners of the
building Atlantic Rock Island Society Enterprise (ARISE) for monthly meetings.