In coastal areas across the North, African Americans formed corporations and bought land to serve as vacation spots. Greenwood Forest Farms was one such place. The resort community began with a group of prominent Brooklyn African Americans who hoped to find trade opportunities in South America. World War I put an end to those plans, and they decided to take their accumulated wealth and create a vacation community instead.
Greenwood Forest Farms was founded in 1919 and consisted of twenty-eight cottages. Land was set aside fora clubhouse and a man-made lake. The streets were privately owned and were maintained by the community, and for several decades, the community generated its own electricity. At the time of the community's establishment, cottages sold for between $200-300.
Greenwood Farms, known as the Colony, became well-known among affluent African Americans. Some of the most well-known figures of New York's African American arts community lived or vacationed at the Colony, including Langston Hughes.
In the 1960s, the Colony and other communities like it declined in importance once discrimination in public facilities was no longer legal. Nonetheless, some descendants of the original owners at the Colony still live there year-round. In 2006, a historical marker was installed to recognize the significance of Greenwood Farms.