Lagoons, Lakes, Ponds, & Swimming Holes

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Yankee Lake Park

Yankee Lake Park was a leisure destination located near Brookfield, Ohio, to the north of Youngstown and just west of Sharon, Pennsylvania. Although the park got its start in the early 20th century, in 1940, the Pittsburgh Courier reported that Eugene Cooke of Farrell, Pennsylvania, hoped to turn the venue into a full-fledged summer resort […]

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. […]

Wingfoot Lake

Wingfoot Lake in Mogadore, named for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s logo—the winged shoe of Mercury—supplied water for Goodyear’s blimp factory that opened during World War I. Wingfoot Lake hosted many company employee outings in the several decades before becoming a state park, including picnics specifically for Black workers in the 1930s. Additional information coming […]

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. […]

Chestnut Beach

Chestnut Beach hosted various organizations’ outings and offered outdoor recreation and dancing. In 1937, it hosted the “All Ohio-Pennsylvania Negro outing.” The precise location is unclear. It was described as being “reached via route 8 and route 526.” The latter highway, now defunct, ran from East Akron through Mogadore to Route 43 in Suffield Township. […]

Springfield Lake Park

Springfield Lake Park in Lakemore outside Akron was at least the occasional site of African American church camp meetings and organizational outings between the 1900s and the 1930s. Additional information coming soon. Resources Cleveland Gazette. June 27, 1903. “Seiberling, B-W, Eagles’ Outing Are Scheduled; All-Nations, Odd Fellows, Vets, Negro Picnics Planned for Week-End.” Akron Beacon […]

Wallace Beach

Wallace Beach (or Wallace’s Beach) was a swimming hole and spot of outdoor recreation along the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River. The Call & Post made occasional references to Black gatherings at Wallace Beach in the 1930s. The leisure spot featured “many natural beauties to which have been added picnic benches, dance pavilion, refreshment […]

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. An article in 1935 about a jazz concert noted that Brady Lake “will be turned over […]

Craig Beach

Craig Beach was a beach, park, and amusement park area located along Lake Milton to the west of Youngstown. Gaining massive popularity in the 1920s, the location could accommodate thousands of visitors at one time, and was a very popular vacation and resort location for the people of Youngstown, Akron, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. While the […]