At a time when enjoyment of public recreation was restricted by color, African American entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to open and operate pleasure parks for people of color. The parks were popular venues for leisure activities but also offered Chautauqua-like activities and conferences with renowned speakers. At the same time, the parks were reputed to be plagued by crime and subjected to excessive police scrutiny. This forgotten history of the Barry Farm/Hillsdale area will be introduced through maps, photos, and tales of interesting characters.


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