According to her obituary, "Mary became one of the most successful African American female entrepreneurs in Lorain County, when she and two friends bought 125 acres of land off Albrecht Road in Elyria and opened the RMR Ranch Club in 1956. The club, which consisted of a riding stable of 17 horses, picnic grounds, restaurant and motel, also was a nightclub where notable entertainers such as Marvin Gaye and Al Green appeared. She later became sole proprietor and renamed the establishment the DMD Ranch. The last acreage was sold to the Lorain County Regional Airport in 1991."
Rae's question to me was,"Where the heck was this?"
That's a good question. And I didn't have a lot of luck finding out!
I hit the Elyria phone books and city directories at the Lorain Public Library and only came up with one listing (below) of the complex, in the 1961 phone book.
That's it. It was not listed under Restaurants, Night Clubs, Motels, Stables, etc. I checked several years before and after 1961 and came up with nothing. It wasn't in the street listings section of the books I checked either.
Looking at the Lorain County Auditor's website, there seemed to have been a few transactions of land on the south side of Albrecht Road adjacent to the aiport in 2006, but there are none listed that have the 1991 date listed in the obituary.
Here is an aerial view of one of those Albrecht Road properties that the airport purchased in the 2000's. At last this map gives you a general idea of where the RMR Ranch Club was located.
And here's a Mapquest map of the same area. According to an old map I have of the area, the intersection of Fowl and Albrecht is kind of Lorain County's answer to the 'Four Corners' area of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado – except in this case it is Amherst Township, Elyria Township, Russia Township and Carlisle Township.
Since there are so many private residences along Albrecht west of Fowl Road, there would have to be some undeveloped Ranch land left for the airport to purchase. So I'm betting that the Ranch was on the south side of Albrecht, somewhere between Fowl Road and West Ridge Road.
I'll try and dig some more in the more recent books, under the other name – DMD Ranch – listed in the obituary.
Does anybody have any recollection of the RMR Ranch? If so, please leave a comment!