Amusement Parks

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Silver Lake Park

In July 1910, the Akron Beacon Journal ran an article under the sensational headline “Starts a Row; Shows Weapon.” The story opened with the account of a “colored damsel,” Retchel Park, who caused a commotion at the train station at Silver Lake Park, an amusement park on Silver Lake between Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio. […]

Summit Beach Park

Summit Beach Park was an amusement park and recreation area on Summit Lake in Akron. Through the 1940s patrons could ride the South Main streetcar to Miller Avenue and then take a free bus the remaining distance west to the park. The Call & Post reported on various orchestras that performed at Summit Beach Park […]

Luna Park

Luna Park was an amusement park on Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. Opened in 1905, it reportedly declined in popularity during Prohibition when it could no longer serve beer. But during this same time, it seems that African Americans may have found new opportunities for leisure and recreation at Luna Park. One indication is that the […]

Brady Lake

Brady Lake was an amusement park and leisure destination along Brady Lake between Kent and Ravenna, Ohio. It opened in 1898 and was regionally popular into the mid-20th century. Brady Lake attracted African American leisure-seekers in the interwar years. Additional information coming soon.

Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach was a lakeside amusement park that operated in Vermilion, Ohio, from 1907 to 1962. In 1932, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Cuyahoga County Lodge of Colored Elks held its annual picnic at Crystal Beach, suggested that African American visitors were able to use at least the picnic grounds at the park. […]

Euclid Beach Park

Euclid Beach Park, located in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood along Lake Erie, was the city’s best-known amusement park for about seven decades. Euclid Beach offered general admission but refused to admit African Americans on certain days of the week and practiced racial exclusion in its dancing pavilion. Its Jim Crow policies prompted litigation and protest, […]

Geauga Lake Park

Geauga Lake Park was an amusement park located on Geauga Lake (previously known as Picnic Lake and Giles Pond) along the border of Bainbridge Township in Geauga County and Aurora in Portage County, where it operated from 1887 to 2007. It was reputedly a favored Black alternative to Euclid Beach Park, which was widely known […]