1946 Green Book

Cedar Branch YMCA

The Cedar Branch YMCA, located at Cedar Avenue and East 77th Street, always helped the young men in its community even with often limited resources. The first Cedar Branch YMCA building was constructed in 1879 and was rented from the Lend-a-Hand Mission in 1921. The YMCA purchased the building two years later along with an […]

Cedar Gardens

Cedar Gardens was a restaurant and night spot that achieved regional and even national renown as a “black and tan” club in the 1930s and 1940s. Jacob Hecht opened Cedar Gardens at 9706 Cedar Avenue in January 1934. Hecht, who was White, had hired 65 employees by 1937, all of whom were Black. He turned […]

Douglas Club

The Douglas Club was located at 7917 Cedar Avenue in Cleveland. Its name, sometimes spelled Douglass, suggests that it may have derived from the famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The club opened at an unspecified date in the early 1930s and reportedly started on East 40th Street before moving in 1935 to the Cedar Avenue location […]

Log Cabin

The Log Cabin was a popular tavern opened in 1934 by Willie Pierson and Rodger Price at 2290 East 55th Street before expanding into the adjacent storefront at 2294 two years later. Pierson, a Guthrie, Oklahoma, native and World War I veteran who would go on to be one of the first African American homeowners […]

Mathews Hotel

The Mathews Hotel was Akron’s main Black hotel. Owned by George W. Mathews, the hotel was located at 77 N. Howard Street. Born on a farm in Thomaston, Georgia, in 1897, Mathews worked as a waiter in a Montgomery, Alabama, hotel from 1915 to 1920. He migrated to Akron in 1925 and opened the Mathews […]

Mrs. McCray

Belle McCray always extended a helping hand to those in need and provided housing for many families moving to Cleveland. She moved from Greenville, Mississippi, with her husband Sam McCray in 1917 as part of the Great Migration. Soon after she arrived in Cleveland, she started acquiring property. She purchased properties on East 40th Street, […]

On-Erie Beach

On-Erie Beach played a significant role in the African American community in Northeast Ohio from the 1920s to the 1940s. Located in western Lorain, the beach may have been the only African American owned and operated beach in the area. On-Erie Beach lay along State Route 2, near present-day West 21st and Martin Drive. The […]

Solomon’s Gold Bar Delicatessen & Restaurant

Solomon’s Gold Bar Delicatessen & Restaurant (or simply Gold Bar) was owned by Ben Solomon. It moved to 14700 Kinsman Road in 1947 and was replaced by Cafe Tia Juana. It moved again to 13905 Cedar Rd. in the Cedar Center shopping plaza in South Euclid in 1957. Additional information coming soon. Green Book Details […]

Williams’ World’s Greatest Bar-B-Q

Williams Bar-B-Q was opened by Eugene “Hot Sauce” Williams in 1935. The establishment was originally Henry Burkett’s Black King’s Barbecue until Williams came along. Eugene Williams, a native of New Orleans, brought his southern roots from Louisiana to Cleveland, incorporating natural southern style, into his famous hot sauce and barbecuing. He owned a small barbecue stand before opening his more well-known William’s […]