Visit Dublin GA Pursues Listing Dudley Motel on National Trust Endangered List
Dudley Motel, Cafe, and Amoco Station #2 nominated for 2021 list compiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Monday, February 1, 2021 Dublin, Georgia: Every year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation receives submissions from around the country from organizations wanting to save buildings of architectural, cultural, and historic importance for their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Because of the fact that of the over 300 sites the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list has identified, less than 5% have been lost, its an extremely competitive process. With the National Trust’s focus on “telling the full American story” to “expand our understanding of our shared national heritage,” Visit Dublin GA contacted the Pearson family, City of Dublin Mayor Phil Best, Downtown Development Authority director, Tracie Morgan, and the Office of Downtown Development’s Tara Bradshaw to pull together the partners needed to support the application.
“Thanks to Scott Thompson our historian, I had the research to get started. I needed the go ahead. Every call I made ended in an enthusiastic “yes.” Carl Pearson of Dudley Funeral Home agreed to let us shoot a series of videos with Zack and Stephanie Whipple of Betta Focus capturing Carl telling his family’s history, and Hub Dudley’s story. Carl shared his family photos, research, and documents with us. That research pushed us to dig deeper, and we were able to connect the dots on how vast an impact Herbert “Hub” Dudley had on Laurens County, Georgia, and the United States,” explains Rebecca Johnson, director, Visit Dublin GA.
From earning Laurens County’s first commission as a notary public in 1916 to opening businesses on East Jackson Street and Madison Street, Hub Dudley built a flurry of businesses to meet needs of the black community. He provided employment, apprenticeships, and empowerment. In other areas of Dublin, he operated a saw mill, Dudley Cemetery, and helped fundraise for and expand Dublin’s Georgia Negro 4-H Camp. With the establishment of Dudley Motel, Cafe, and Amoco service station #2 on East Jackson Street, he provided food, lodging, fuel, and most importantly, safety to blacks traveling across Georgia in the 1940s – 1960s. The promise of safety and comfort attracted leaders of the Civil Rights movement like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, and Reverend Ralph Abernathy. Dudley’s wife, Mayme, played a key role too: She was friends with Dr. Irene Dobbs Jackson, Maynard Jackson’s mother.
Resources poured in to assist with the application: Dubose Porter with The Courier Herald provided copies of the Downtown Dublin magazine as support materials for the application and Jeanne Cyriaque, an award winning specialist on African American heritage, provided articles she researched, and Tracie Sanchez with Georgia Tourism provided examples of history trails mentioned in the State’s resource teams. Visit Dublin GA also developed two online sites to support the “Endangered Places” nomination: HubDudley.org and Dudley Motel.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation will announce the 2021 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in early June, 2021.
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