Remarkable Ohio

Results for: women-leadership
150 Oklahoma Avenue
Gahanna

, OH

Established during the Great Migration and intense segregation in Columbus, The Big Walnut Country Club (BWCC) was one of the first Black country clubs in the United States. Conceived in 1925 and incorporated two years later, the club encouraged and promoted aquatic and athletic sports by providing the means and facilities otherwise not available to the Black community. Members enjoyed golf, swimming, archery, tennis, badminton, boating, dining, and dancing on the nearly 20 acres of land between the Big Walnut and Rocky Fork creeks. The club was a social, professional, and political hub for Central Ohio’s growing Black population in the decades leading to the Civil Rights Movement. The BWCC closed in 1963. Gahanna purchased the land in 1970 and opened its first public park, Friendship Park, the following year.

2210 Summit Street
Columbus

, OH

2210 Summit Street once housed one of Ohio’s longest-running lesbian bars. In 1970, a lesbian bartender at Jack’s A Go Go recognized that while Columbus had bars for gay men, it needed one geared toward lesbian clientele. Patrons knew the bar as “Jack’s,” Logan’s Off Broadway, and Summit Station. Staff welcomed women from small towns, women working in trades, women of color, butch/femme lesbians, and transgender people. Regulars recall that stepping through the door felt like finally entering a place of true belonging. Women could dance, “get together,” break up, sing karaoke, party with friends, and celebrate birthdays and holidays. Summit Station remained a safe public space, despite ongoing police harassment of its gender non-conforming regulars. A sign posted outside declared: “Ladies Night, Every Night. Men $5.” (Continued on other side)

264 Richmond Rd
Richmond Heights

, OH

Greenwood Farm straddles the East Branch of Euclid Creek where a waterfall and gorge expose outcroppings of Euclid bluestone. George and Maude Maynard Phypers acquired the property in 1908. Four generations of the Phypers family lived here until the City of Richmond Heights purchased it in 2004. Called Cleveland’s “Insurance Dean” for his leadership in the field, George (1873-1972) was a businessman and civic leader. He served on the Richmond Heights Village Council from 1921 to 1953. Maude (1872-1965) was the first woman to serve on the local school board (1931). The 17-acre farm includes a 19th century post-and-beam English barn and a 1917 Colonial Revival brick house. A powerhouse supplied electricity to the farm and a nearby school prior to rural electrification in the 1930s. Greenwood Farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

14532 Lake Avenue
Lakewood

, OH

Women’s suffrage–the right for women to vote–was part of the women’s rights movement in the United States from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. In 1912 and 1914, women’s suffrage was on the state ballot in Ohio. Both times, the issue failed statewide but passed in Lakewood. Led by Bernice Pyke, Lakewood women participated in the Suffrage Party of Greater Cleveland and gained support for their cause. Lakewood’s City Council put the suffrage issue on the local ballot in 1917. The male voters of Lakewood passed it, allowing women to vote in municipal elections. In 1919, Ohio ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, which was added to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 and granted women the right to vote in all elections. The Lakewood League of Women Voters was chartered in 1922 and remains active a century later.

14308 Triskett Road
Cleveland

, OH

Here in 1963 congregants of Beth Israel-The West Temple, led by Louis Rosenblum, Herb Caron, and Rabbi Daniel Litt, founded the Cleveland Committee (later Council) on Soviet Anti-Semitism, the first American organization created to advocate for freedom for Soviet Jews. In 1970 this work led to the formation of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) under the leadership of Louis Rosenblum. The UCSJ, whose national office was located here 1970-1973, became the largest independent Soviet Jewry organization in the world. By the turn of the 21st century, the efforts begun here helped 1.6 million Jews leave the former Soviet Union. (Continued on other side)

16980 South Park Drive
Shaker Heights

, OH

In 1930, nine women from Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights formally organized The Village Garden Club and set as its goal the beautification of Shaker Parklands with trees. At a time when women were excluded from environmental activism, the club’s careful planning allowed members to lead civic improvements. Since its establishment, the club has planted and maintained flowering trees at Horseshoe Lake Park, pausing only during World War II. In the 1960s, The Village Garden Club and 34 other local organizations successfully fought the construction of the Clark-Lee Freeway. Club member Mary Elizabeth Croxton chaired the Park Conservation Committee that won the battle and established the Shaker Lakes Regional Nature Center. The Village Garden Club continues its stewardship over the flowering grove with “civic and environmental responsibility” as its focus.

1161 E 105th Street
Cleveland

, OH

The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church (GABC) organized with 250 members on December 16, 1945, at a Phillis Wheatley Association meeting. Led by its first pastor, Rev. John Rollins Plummer, the congregation raised $47,000 to purchase the Jewish Synagogue at East 105th Street and Tacoma Avenue from the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Beth Israel Congregation in 1946. It later purchased a parsonage, land for parking, and created a Federal Credit Union. Tragically, Rev. Plummer was killed in a car accident on October 22, 1951. The church’s lower auditorium was remodeled and dedicated as J.R. Plummer Memorial Hall. Honoring its missionary and pastoral care foundations, the church built a $3M senior citizens complex nearby. An endowment fund, instituted by its pastor’s savings in 1995, ensures that this commitment to civic leadership endures.