Author: Green Book Cleveland Team

Jones Farm

The Black employees of the May Co. department store held a picnic at Jones’ Farm near Chagrin Falls in 1937. The farm’s location is not yet known, but it may be have been the property of Thomas Jones, a farmer from Kentucky who appears in the 1940 census in Chagrin Falls Park. Additional information coming […]

Liberty Hall

Liberty Hall was the headquarters of the Cleveland branch of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) beginning in 1923. Better known as the local home of a fraternal and reform organization originally founded in Jamaica in 1914 by Marcus Garvey to promote anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Black advancement, Liberty Hall was also the site of a […]

Meyers Lake Park

Meyers Lake Park was a lakeside picnic ground and amusement park near Canton. The earliest mention of African Americans visiting “Meyer’s lake” was in 1896, when an excursion organized by the Cleveland L’Ouverture Rifles brought about 500 Black visitors from Cleveland, Akron, Massillon, and other points meet Ohio governor and future U.S. president William McKinley. […]

Midway Lake

Midway Lake Outdoor Club was a 125-acre farm with club house on Route 322 east of Windsor in Orwell Township in southwestern Ashtabula County. Marvin and Georgie Rutherford, both originally from Georgia, traveled each summer in the 1950s with other couples to Idlewild, a famed Black resort on a small lake located about forty miles […]

Mix’s End

Mix’s End was a nightspot with live music, dancing, games, and southern-style barbecue. It was located at the corner of Stanford and Yale Streets just off Hadden Road in the Twinsburg Heights area of northern Summit County. Owned by Charles Mix, the club appeared only once in an advertisement in 1959. State agents raided Mix’s […]

Mrs. L. J. Debnam

Mrs. L. J. Debnam ran a tourist home offering rooms and meals at 58 East College Street in Oberlin in the early 1930s. Additional information coming soon. Resources The Travelers Guide. Philadelphia: Hackley & Harrison Publishing Co., 1931. New York Public Library. digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/cf5466a0-9602-0137-333f-0dd3ea1c24dd.

Northside Pool

Northside Pool in Youngstown was maintained as a whites-only pool into the 1940s despite African American attempts to integrate it. Additional information coming soon. Resources “Cleveland Sympathizers Trek To Youngstown For Riot Trial.” Call & Post. July 20, 1940. Wiltse, Jeff. Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America. Chapel Hill: University of […]

Oak Grove Picnic Area

Oak Grove Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation was the site of Black organizations’ picnics. As one example, the Glenville Area Council sponsored a picnic for Glenville residents that attracted 1,000 people to the venue in 1958. Additional information coming soon. Resources Sears, Art, Jr. “Call & Post Goes to Glenville Area Picnic.” Call & […]

Oak Knoll Park

Oak Knoll Park in Massillon hosted Black organizations’ outings in the pre–World War II years, including the Massillon Negro Civic Council’s picnic and dance in 1939, which also involved the Massillon Urban League, St. James A.M.E. Zion, Friendship Baptist, and Shiloh Baptist Churches. The festivities included baseball and other games and a “jitterbug hop” in […]

Pete’s Subway Record Shop

Pete’s Subway Record Shop was variously listed at 9108 or 9110 Cedar Avenue and specialized in jazz, blues, and gospel records. Its name reflected the nickname of its owner, Arthur B. (Pete) Carvest and the fact that the shop got its start in a small rear basement space before moving upstairs to a street-facing storefront. […]

Pla-Mor

From the early 1940s to the mid-1960s, Pla-Mor Roller Rink at 10626 Cedar Avenue was the only skating rink in Cleveland that welcomed Black skaters. Pla-Mor had its start as the Coliseum, a large hall that opened in 1940 in a decommissioned bus garage and, in addition to featuring a large roller rink, hosted trade […]

Portland-Outhwaite Bathhouse Pool

Portland-Outhwaite Bathhouse Pool, located at the Portland-Outhwaite Center at 2511 East 46th Street, was one of only two pools in the Cedar-Central area that were open to Black swimmers prior to World War II. Additional information coming soon. Resources Seawell, Stephanie L. “The Black Freedom Movement and Community Planning in Urban Parks in Cleveland, Ohio, […]