Wakeman Country Club was a Black resort outside the Huron County village of Wakeman, roughly halfway between Oberlin and Norwalk. In 1923, inventor and Cleveland Call and Post founder Garrett A. Morgan bought a farm about two miles south of Wakeman along the Vermillion River and envisioned a development there. Wakeman Country Club operated between about 1928 through at least the late 1930s and offered dining, dancing, and horseback riding in addition to small private lots. It attracted visitors from at least as far as Pittsburgh.
Wakeman Country Club was part of a broader phenomenon in the interwar years. Black Clevelanders surely shared what Colin Fisher wrote of Black Chicagoans, a desire to gain “greater control of wild green spaces where they could temporarily retreat from urban life, … remember the past and imagine themselves as a community.” Indeed, African Americans also founded Cedar Country Club near Solon, Maple Hollow Country Club near Parkman, and On-Erie Beach near Lorain in the same time period. Although these resorts faltered during or after World War II, they were precedents for similar later ventures such as R. M. R. Ranch Club near Elyria and Pinecrest Country Club near Twinsburg.
Additional information coming soon
- Busek, Jim. “Morgan Heads Movement for New Resort and Village.” Norwalk Reflector. February 4, 2020. https://norwalkreflector.com/news/85321/morgan-heads-movement-for-new-resort-and-village/.
- Fisher, Colin. Urban Green: Nature, Recreation, and the Working Class in Industrial Chicago. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. 90.
- “Huron-Co Court Notes.” Sandusky Register. January 10, 1934.
- “Morgan, Garrett A.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. https://case.edu/ech/articles/m/morgan-garrett.