Lake Shore Picnic Grounds occupied the northwest corner of East 185th Street and Lakeshore Boulevard in North Collinwood, approximately the same area as HWR Christian Center Park and St. Joseph’s High School today, in the early 1940s. It was not the first recreation spot at this site, having been preceded by several other “shore clubs” or “gardens” in the early 1900s: The Moonbeam Shore Club, Lakeshore Gardens, Shore Acres Gardens, Marigold Gardens, Alpine Shore Club, and Helen O’Brien’s Shore Club. Lake Shore Picnic Grounds stood out among them as the first and last entertainment venue at this location that openly welcomed all visitors regardless of race.
Local residents could easily reach Lake Shore Picnic Grounds by car or public buses. In addition to the general public, the grounds’ convenient location also served as host to the annual picnic of the Tuxedo Club, an African American social club. The picnic grounds were to be used by everyone regardless of race, a notable counterpoint to the nearby Euclid Beach Park, which was the site of numerous incidents of racial discrimination that culminated in the 1946 Euclid Beach Park Riot. Lake Shore Picnic Grounds offered swimming, dancing, baseball, and racing, and it provided a welcoming space that allowed everyone to enjoy outdoor leisure activities.
- “Prominents Enjoy Festival Air at Tuxedo Picnic.” Call & Post. September 20, 1941.
- “Tuxedo Club’s Annual Picnic, Labor Day September 1 1941.” Call & Post. August 30, 1941.
- “Tuxedo Club Victory Picnic.” Call & Post. July 4, 1942.