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Club Plantation

Club Plantation, a Black and Tan establishment, was situated in the basement of the Norwood Hotel at 550 E. Adams between Beaubien and St. Antoine. It was once considered the premier spot in Paradise Valley. Both the hotel and the club were owned by black numbers operator and businessman Walter Norwood. Norwood inaugurated the club in 1932, but ownership changed hands in 1941 when Benjamin Franklin “Slim” Jones purchased it. Jones renamed the club Club Congo. Like Norwood, Jones was involved in numbers operations. He had previously owned the Chocolate Bar located at 632 Livingstone between Hastings and Beaubien.

Club Plantation Norwood Hotel.jpg
Club Plantation 1936.jpg

Club Planation’s marketing and décor was that of a southern plantation.  The entrance to the club was made to look like a white painted mansion, with a columned front, and painted trees.  The ceiling was painted to reflect a darkened sky.

Club Plantation Dance Floor_edited.jpg
Club Plantation 1939.jpg
Norwood Hotel Dining Room and Coctail Bar 1934.jpg
Club Plantation Entrance_edited_edited.jpg

Club Plantation was known for its elegance and first class entertainment and floor shows.  Earl Walton was the in-house musician and he and his orchestra was responsible for much of the club’s early success.  At one point, it was estimated 95% of the audience at the Club Plantation were white. 

Earl Walton Band at Club Plantation_edited.jpg

In addition to great music, Club Plantation offered comedy, skits, and dancers to its wealthy customers.

Auzie “Queen of Mirth and Song” Dial, 

Dance Team of Turner and Burrelle,

“Dusty” Murray (Producer and Comedian), 

the Club Plantation Sextette of Sepia Sweethearts,

James “Rhythm Manic” Simmons

Club Plantation Acts_edited.jpg
Club Congo.jpg

The below are images of a “Table Knocker.”  This is one of a few versions.  Table Knockers were used to give “applause” and to get the attention of a waiter or waitress.

Club Plantation Knocker 1.jpg
Club Plantation Knocker 2.jpg

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