History of the West Park

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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Race track
(Photograph provided courtesy of the Barbara Unterzuber Collection.)

Rockport Hamlet Driving Park

The Rockport Hamlet Driving Park was built in 1890 by Fred Colbrunn, a son of Fred Colbrunn who settled in the area in the 1830.  A harness racing track complete with a half-mile track and grandstand, it faced West 159th Street, running north from Lorain Avenue to Lucille Avenue.  The stables stood at the south end along Lorain Street while a saloon and a concession stand were on the west side along West 165th Street.  The entire facility was surrounded by a tall wooden fence. Children of the area spent many afternoons sitting on the fence or peeking through it.  Races were organized for a two to three week period, several times a year attracting horse racers from all of Ohio and even Kentucky.

Race track maps
The area in 1874...                                                          c1895                                                                       mid-20th Century
The red areas approximate the location of the Driving Park.  The green area is the Alger Cemetery.

The area was annexed by Cleveland in 1923 and the Cleveland School Board purchased the race track for $15,000.00.  George Washington Elementary School (still standing behind the present Dunkin' Donuts shop) was constructed on the south end of the property the same year.  Newton D. Baker Junior High School was built on the north end.

Ticket 1904  trotters reace

The image of a complimentary ticket provided by Aileen M. Norton.                        Photograph provided courtesy of the Barbara Unterzuber Collection.                   

The 1902 Auto Races at the Rockport Hamlet Driving Park

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Updated 3 July 20014