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 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 & […]
Fullum’s Farms was a picnic ground that hosted an Argonauts’ outing in 1948. The group chartered buses from the Cedar YMCA for the event. Additional information coming soon.
Jenkins’ Farm, also referred to as the Giddyup Riding Club, was a rural recreational grounds along Holbrook Road outside Chagrin Falls in the 1950s. Owned by Charles and Emma Jenkins, Jenkins’ Farm featured horseback riding, games, Saturday evening hayrides, picnic areas, barbecue ribs and chicken, and home-cooked dinners. According to the one available ad for […]
Ranch Picnic Grounds was located on Turney Road in Maple Heights and hosted labor picnics during the World War II years. Additional information coming soon
Cottage Grove Lake in the Portage Lakes emerged as a picnicking and recreational spot as early as the 1880s after the Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad initiated passenger service through the Cuyahoga Valley between Cleveland and the Portage Lakes. By 1890 the railroad financed the development of Cottage Grove Lake into a full-fledged resort. A […]
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 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 […]
Happy Days Camp was a youth camp and picnic ground constructed in Virginia Kendall Park between 1933 and 1938 by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers on Route 303 a mile west of Route 8 near Peninsula. In 1955 the Akron Chapter of the NAACP held a picnic there. Additional information coming soon.
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 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 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 […]