Frank Handy Farm

The Frank Handy Farm was located on Holbrook Road off Franklin Street near Chagrin Falls Park. Handy, a native of New Iberia, Louisiana, moved to Cleveland in the early 1900s and earned money by gigging on the alto saxophone before opening a confectionery business at East 43rd and Cedar Avenue. Handy, who was a great nephew of famed bluesman W. C. Handy, married his wife Dorion, a native New Orleanian, in 1915. She joined him in opening and operating the Paradise Bar at 4410 Woodland Avenue and the Corner Tavern at 7800 Cedar Avenue.

In 1947, with their two Cedar-Central area nightclubs thriving with national acts playing frequently to large crowds, the Handys rented a large dairy farm between Chagrin Falls and Bentleyville near the Black enclave of Chagrin Falls Park and took up country living. In 1952, they bought the farm, one of several in eastern Cuyahoga County owned by John C. Jackson. Handy later tried to sell the land for industrial development, but he relented when this stirred opposition from neighboring landowners. Eventually the Handys bought a large house on E. 108th St. in the Wade Park allotment near University Circle and donated a portion of the farmland to build a new swimming pool for children of Chagrin Falls Park in 1954 after a flood washed away a dam that had impounded a swimming pond. The couple continued to reside in the Glenville area. After selling their two clubs, by 1960 Handy had moved into the bail bond business, which he operated until his death ten years later.

See also John C. Jackson Farm

Resources

  • “Business Genius, Musician Dies; Frank Handy Mourned.” Call & Post. September 26, 1970.
  • Jackson, John C., warranty deed to Frank Handy. Village of Bentleyville, Original Solon Twp. September 17, 1952. Cuyahoga County Recorder vol. 7630, p. 735. AFN#195209170106.
  • Paradise Bar and Corner Tavern advertisement. Call & Post. August 12, 1944.
  • Parris, Lillian F. “Handy Donates Site for Pool in Chagrin Falls.” Call & Post. July 31, 1954.
  • “See Industry Moving Toward Negro Village.” Call & Post. January 26, 1957.
Holbrook Road, Bentleyville, Ohio (location is approximate)