Remarkable Ohio


Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.

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42-48 Hines Farm Blues Club

Side A: The Hines Farm Blues Club started on this site in 1949 as a party in Frank and Sarah Hines’s basement. The Club grew to become one of Ohio’s premiere blues and rhythm & blues venues until closing in 1976. A virtual “Who’s Who of African-American Artists” played here, first in a picnic shelter in the woods and then in the main building, erected in 1956. “Mr. Luke’s Outdoor Pavilion” that doubled as a skating rink was the last major addition. Holding as many as a thousand fans, Count Basie and his entire orchestra marked its opening with a performance under the stars in August 1961. Bobo Jenkins, Little Esther Phillips, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, Buddy Lamp, and John Lee Hooker were among the musical greats who played Hines Farm. Important local blues artists Big Jack Reynolds, Curtis Grant, and the Griswold Brothers were regulars as well. (continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) Hines Farm also featured Negro League exhibition baseball, miniature golf, hayrides, motorcycle and trick riding meets, horse racing, and three full kitchens that prepared regionally renowned food, especially the barbeque. When the Hines’s became ill in the mid-1970s, the club closed and remained unused until Henry Griffin purchased it in 1978. Griffin, who was raised in nearby Swanton, had fond memories of Hines Farm and bought it to renovate the club. Now known as Griffin’s Hines Farm, it has re-emerged as a lively music venue in the twenty-first century while preserving the atmosphere of the earlier age when it was the undisputed center of the blues in northwest Ohio in the predominately black rural area called Spencer-Sharples, a major stop on the chittlin circuit. A painted sign by the shelter still urges patrons to do as Kool and the Gang says, “Celebrate Good Times, Come On.”
Sponsors: Black Swamp Blues Society and The Ohio Historical Society
Address: 3950 S Berkey-Southern Rd, 
Location: Hines Farm
Latitude: 41.5687862
Longitude: -83.8250875