“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Joe Gans and the Goldfield Hotel

Joe Gans and the Goldfield Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bob Marshall, February 16, 2011
1. Joe Gans and the Goldfield Hotel Marker
Inscription. The Goldfield Hotel once stood at the corner of East Lexington and Colvin Streets. Joe Gans, a Baltimore native and the first African American boxing champion, owned the hotel and its nightclub, which was one of the earliest integrated clubs in the nation.

Born in Baltimore in 1874, Gans was seventeen when he fought his first professional match in one of the city's athletic clubs. He won boxing's lightweight title in 1902 after knocking out his opponent in the first round. Gans held the title until 1908.

Gans purchased the hotel with the winnings from what was considered his greatest fight. In September 1906, Gans and Oscar "Battling" Nelson went 42 rounds in a match held in the tiny mining town of Goldfield, Nevada. The fight ended with Nelson disqualified for personal fouls. With his winnings, Gans purchased the three-story hotel at East Lexington and Colvin and named it after the west Nevada town.

The Goldfield Hotel opened on October 29, 1907 with a gala celebration and crowds overflowing onto Colvin Street (then Chestnut Street). Future jazz great Eubie Blake got his start as a piano player at the hotel's club. The Goldfield's grandeur and success inspired boxing's heavyweight champion Jack Johnson to open a club in New York, which later became Harlem's Cotton Club.

Gans died at the age of 35 in 1910. He is buried in southwest Baltimore's Mount Auburn Cemetery. The Goldfield Hotel, later used as a grocery store and apartments, was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the post office complex at the site today.
Erected by Friends of Joe Gans, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Location. 39° 17.605′ N, 76° 36.246′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Colvin Street and E. Lexington Street, on the left when traveling north on Colvin Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21233, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Vincent de Paul Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named St. Vincent de Paul Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1781 Friends Meeting House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Phoenix Shot Tower (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Baptist Church, Baltimore (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1017 - 1021 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1029 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); 9 North Front Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Baltimore.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . .  Joseph "Baby Joe" Gans - Maryland Online Encyclopedia. (Submitted on February 24, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. African AmericansEntertainmentIndustry & CommerceSports

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bob Marshall of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,678 times since then and 160 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Bob Marshall of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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