Amusement ParksLagoons, Lakes, & Ponds

Brady Lake

Brady Lake was an amusement park and leisure destination along Brady Lake between Kent and Ravenna, Ohio. It opened in 1891 and was regionally popular until the late 1940s. Brady Lake attracted African American leisure-seekers in the interwar years and was a popular destination for live music and dancing. It was a convenient vacation spot for people from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, an article in The Pittsburgh Courier mentioned folks motoring to Brady Lake for vacation in 1927.  

Throughout the 1920s-1930s, Brady Lake hosted a variety of well-known entertainers including dancers, singers, bands, and circus acts. An article in 1935 about a jazz concert noted that Brady Lake ‘will be turned over to our people … for the first time in three years,’, which suggests that Black access was intermittent. The Cleveland Call and Post advertised a “Sunset Royal Entertainers” concert at Brady Lake in 1935, with a party and dancing included. The Sunset Royal Entertainers were a nationally celebrated Black jazz orchestra group from Florida that played all over the country, most notably the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theatre in New York City. Several other Black entertainers performed at Brady Lake, including Cab Calloway and the Mills Blue Rhythm Band. 


  • “Baron Lee to Play Brady Lake Park Saturday Night.” Pittsburgh Courier. June 15, 1935.
  • “Brady Lake Park presents the Sunset Royal Entertainers.” Call and Post, July 11, 1935. 
  • “Featured at Apollo Theatre.” The Pittsburgh Courier, August 15, 1936. 
  • “Sharon, PA.” Pittsburgh Courier. September 24, 1927. 
  • Wolcott, Victoria. Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. 
Brady Lake, OH

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Many of the locations documented on Green Book Cleveland are not well-documented in the historical record. If you have additional information about Brady Lake, please let us know by sharing a memory, correction, or suggestion using the comment form below.

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