By David R. Schleper
A skat tournament was held at the Opera House at the northeast corner of Holmes Street and First Avenue in Shakopee on April 24, 1905.
Skat is a three-handed card game played with 32 cards in which players bid for the privilege of attempting any of several contracts. Players came from as far as 50 miles away to participate.
It has become the most loved and widely played German card game, especially in German-speaking regions. And it was the German Americans in Shakopee in 1905 who held the tournament.
The Opera House was in the Reiss Building, on the north side of First Avenue. The building was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1979, but unfortunately, the city bought it to be used as a right-turn lane. They demolished the building in 1986.
A book, Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places by Jack El-Hai discusses 89 historic buildings, including the Reiss Block. (It also included the Merchants’ Hotel/Conter Hotel/Pelham Hotel, also in Shakopee, which was leveled in 1987.)
(Some information from “Wrecking ball writes final chapter of House of Hoy’s 103-year history,” by Beth Forkner Moe, Shakopee Valley News, 24 Dec 1986; and Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places by Jack El-Hai, 2000, University of Minnesota Press.)