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Woodland Park Resort Ephemera, 1924-1925

Lot of 17 featuring ephemera related to Michigan's Woodland Park Resort, a seasonal resort founded in 1921 specifically for African Americans. Lot includes the following: seven balance statements dating to 1924-25 issued by the resort to lot owners; three cancelled checks dating to 1924 and paid to the resort; a TLS dated June 18, 1924, on "Woodland Park Resort Co., Ltd." letterhead; two return envelopes addressed to the resort; and two issues (May and July 1925) of The Midget, a newsletter published by Woodland Park Resort Company "in the interests of Woodland Park lot owners." Items in the collection are identified to lot owners Lucy O. Maxey and Linna J. Maxey of Indianapolis, Indiana. Also included with the Woodland Park ephemera are a 1918 letter of recommendation written on behalf of Lucy O. Maxey by a representative of Marion Normal Institute in Marion, Indiana, along with a black and white photograph of an unidentified, young Black woman.

Most notable in the collection are the issues of The Midget, a publication intended to inform lot owners about ongoing developments at the resort while also promoting sales of additional lots and increased resort attendance. Beneath the headline "Woodland Park the Beautiful," the July 1925 newsletter describes the park in this way: "Its location is ideal. Attractively located, with all modern conveniences for comfort. Equipment in the cottages, Clubhouse and Royal Breeze Hotel the best. New cottages where the lounging and sleeping appointments are conducive to comfort every hour of the twenty-four...."

Woodland Park Resort was established by Black businessman Marion E. Auther. At the time Auther was also a successful salesman for Michigan's better-known Idlewild resort, a leading African American resort in the Jim Crow era. Arthur and his wife Ella Auther hoped to provide a place to vacation for middle-class African Americans but also intended that some residents would build permanent homes on their lots. Woodland Park was best known for its premier accommodation, the Royal Breeze Hotel. Like many all-Black resorts, visitation to Woodland Park declined in the decades following the Civil Rights movement as all-white facilities were opened to African Americans. 

Condition:

All items with expected wear given age but overall good.

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$875
12/03/2020

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