Not Listed in Green Book

Pla-Mor

From the early 1940s to the mid-1960s, Pla-Mor Roller Rink at 10626 Cedar Avenue was the only skating rink in Cleveland that welcomed Black skaters. Pla-Mor had its start as the Coliseum, a large hall that opened in 1940 in a decommissioned bus garage and, in addition to featuring a large roller rink, hosted trade […]

Portland-Outhwaite Bathhouse Pool

Portland-Outhwaite Bathhouse Pool, located at the Portland-Outhwaite Center at 2511 East 46th Street, was one of only two pools in the Cedar-Central area that were open to Black swimmers prior to World War II. Additional information coming soon. Resources Seawell, Stephanie L. “The Black Freedom Movement and Community Planning in Urban Parks in Cleveland, Ohio, […]

Public Hall

Public Hall, or Public Auditorium, opened in 1922 at 500 Lakeside Avenue. It was primarily used as a convention center for its large size and in fact was one of the nation’s largest convention halls until the second half of the 20th century. However, many musical acts played there as well. Public Hall has a […]

Ravenna Town & Country Club

Ravenna Town & Country Club was a private membership club for African Americans on South Diamond Street at the edge of what was the city limits in the 1960s. It offered a range of leisure and recreation, including a golf course, and social events. The club may have been on the site of present-day Diamond […]

Relee Lounge

Relee Lounge was located on the first floor at 899 East 105th Street in the 1940s-50s. Upstairs was the Green Book–listed Mildred’s Beauty Lounge. Additional information coming soon.

Roberts Bike Shop

In 1940, John B. Roberts borrowed $150 and bought six used bicycles that he rented to children from a stand at East 89th Street and Cedar Avenue. By 1941 Roberts had amassed enough money to rent a storefront at 2134 East 96th Street (on the corner of Cedar) and opened Roberts Bike Shop. Within a […]

Scatter’s Barbecue

Scatter’s Barbecue was a popular restaurant owned and operated by Herman “Scatter” Stephens, a larger-than-life figure in Cleveland’s vibrant barbecue scene at the time. Located at 931 East 105th Street in Glenville, Scatter’s Barbecue offered what some considered to be some of the best barbecue in the Midwest. The owner and namesake of Scatter’s, Herman […]

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. […]

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 […]

Stonibrook

Stonibrook was a large estate off Northampton Road in Peninsula, Ohio. The location was near what is now Blossom Music Center. Bill and Anna Johnson were a married African American couple who owned the 45-acre estate filled with evergreens and three inland lakes. Bill was a World War II veteran who returned to the United […]

The Jazz Temple

Editorial note: Aundra Willis-Carrasco shares her memories of waitressing as a teenager at her brother’s coffeehouse nightclub at the height of its popularity and some of the behind-the-scenes inner workings of what made it such a success. Hers is a frank and illuminating window into 1960s Cleveland and the close-knit Black family (originally from Montgomery, Alabama) […]

Towne Casino

Towne Casino was a prominent but short-lived nightclub in the Euclid–East 105th commercial district on the north side of Euclid Avenue. The building where it opened had been the popular Chin’s Golden Dragon restaurant from 1936 to 1949 when Ted Miclau purchased it following the business’s decline after World War II. Miclau, a Romanian immigrant […]

United Recreation

United Recreation was the first Black-owned bowling alley in the United States. Located on Cedar Avenue at East 82nd Street, the bowling alley was a response to racial discrimination. Postal worker and pioneering Black bowler J. Elmer Reed started his own bowling league, the National Bowling Association, a block away in 1939. Difficulties in gaining […]

Val’s

Val’s was a jazz nightclub on the north side of Cedar Avenue near East 86th Street in Cleveland. The club was also known as “Val’s in the Alley” because of its location in a back alley called Vienna Court. One attendee recalled, “We called it Val’s in the alley because it was back off the […]

Wallace Beach

Wallace Beach (or Wallace’s Beach) was a swimming hole and spot of outdoor recreation along the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River. The Call & Post made occasional references to Black gatherings at Wallace Beach in the 1930s. The leisure spot featured “many natural beauties to which have been added picnic benches, dance pavilion, refreshment […]

Warren Pool

Warren Pool in Warren, Ohio, was the object of a 1940s court battle over segregation. Additional information coming soon. Resources “Warren Pool Case To State Supreme Court: New Legal Fight Looms Between City Officials, NAACP Over Racial Issue.” Call & Post. August 14, 1948. Wiltse, Jeff. Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in […]

Wayside Bar and Motel

Crown Prince Waterford, a Jonesboro, Arkansas–born blues musician, opened the Wayside Bar and Motel in Ravenna in 1958. Despite its founding by a noted musician, the business seems to have faded quickly into obscurity. Waterford appears to have sold his interest in the venture within its first few years of operation. No further information is […]

Whitmore’s Barbecue

When 1100 people come to any one corner for any one purpose, somebody has given them SOMETHING to come for. So said the Call & Post about the opening day at Whitmore’s Dream Barbecue at 8318 Cedar Avenue in 1952. But Virgil Whitmore Sr., a native of Dangerfield, Texas, was no newcomer to the barbecue […]

Williams Farm

After moving from New Orleans to Cleveland in 1923, Eugene Williams worked in a barrel factory until opening up his own fish market and grocery store. In 1934, another famous barbecue restauranteur in Cleveland surreptitiously referred to as “the Black King” dissolved his business during the Great Depression. Williams was offered to take over one […]

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 […]

Woodland Hills Pool

Woodland Hills Pool was located in Woodland Hills Park (now called Luke Easter Park) on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just north of Kinsman Road. It was a site of racial threats against Black swimmers in the 1930s-50s. Resources “Luke Easter Park.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. https://case.edu/ech/articles/l/luke-easter-park. Michney, Todd. Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and […]

Wright Farm

Located in Chesterland, Ohio, Wright Farm was owned by Alonzo and Henrietta Wright. Alonzo Wright, who had lived in the Glenville neighborhood in the 1920s before marrying Henrietta Cheeks, had become the third Black homeowner in Cleveland Heights in 1929 and lived there for the next eighteen years, undeterred by a racially motivated firebombing of […]

Yankee Lake Park

Yankee Lake Park was a leisure destination located near Brookfield, Ohio, to the north of Youngstown and just west of Sharon, Pennsylvania. Although the park got its start in the early 20th century, in 1940, the Pittsburgh Courier reported that Eugene Cooke of Farrell, Pennsylvania, hoped to turn the venue into a full-fledged summer resort […]