In 1947, the country club closed due to the death of founder Abraham Lincoln Lewis. However, it reopened later in the year as the city’s first integrated golf club by admitting new members regardless of color. One of the most famous celebrities to golf at Lincoln was heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, who came to Lincoln in 1949 to promote interest in sport within the African-American community. Lewis returned in 1952 with a field of 75 professional and 50 amateur shotmakers for a three-day, 72-hole affair. Lincoln Golf and Country Club’s prominence declined with the fall of Jim Crow as other area golf courses began to admit African-Americans. This led to James Lewis, the grandson of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, eventually selling the country club to a construction company during the early 1960s. Following its closure, the property was development into the mid-century Lincoln Estates and Carver Manor subdivisions that still stand today.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at