“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jonestown in 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.
Photographed By Bob Marshall, February 16, 2011
1. Joe Gans and the Goldfield Hotel Marker
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.

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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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEntertainmentIndustry & CommerceSports. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1906.
Location. 39° 17.605′ N, 76° 36.246′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in Jonestown. Marker is at the intersection of Colvin Street and E. Lexington Street, on the left when traveling north on Colvin Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 Colvin St, Baltimore MD 21202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); First Baptist Church, Baltimore (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shot Tower

Joe Gans Grave Site image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, May 12, 2013
2. Joe Gans Grave Site
He is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Baltimore MD. The grave GPS Coordinates at N39.2606 W76.6389
(approx. 0.2 miles away); 1017 - 1021 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1023 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1029 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2011, by Bob Marshall of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,861 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 21, 2011, by Bob Marshall of Baltimore, Maryland.   2. submitted on February 24, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area picture of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?

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Jun. 10, 2023