Picnic Groves

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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 […]

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 & […]

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 […]