Rosie and Merle McCurdy relaxing on the beach at the Idlewild Club House in Idlewild, Michigan.
Built in the early 1920s, the club house was the center of activity for this vacation resort. From the 1950s to the 1960s, the club house and other nearby night spots showcased the talents of many well-known and upcoming black entertainers including Louis Armstrong, William “Count” Basie, “Peg Leg” Bates, James Brown, Sammy Davis, Jr, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Della Reese, and Stevie Wonder.
From the personal collection of Brenda (McCurdy) Rhodes (unsent postcard written to a friend):
“We are having a good time in Idlewild, Mich. We go swimming every day. We went horseback riding and fishing too. We are staying in a cottage. Well, I have to go to bed now so I have to say goodbye.”
Walker, L., & Wilson, B. (2002). Black Eden: the Idlewild Community. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.