I read this story about local Fredericksburg residents and their efforts for equal rights. Click here to access the article.
When segregation was practiced, there were two hotels that catered to black patrons in the Fredericksburg area, the Rappahannock and the McGuire. In my previous post featuring the Green Book, those two hotels were listed as safe places for travelling blacks to patron. Both hotels were located in the 500 block of Princess Anne Street, which used to be apart of US 1 highway.
The McGuire Hotel (click here and here to view pics) was owned by Dr. Webster Lee Harris. Dr. Harris graduated from Howard University, and practiced dentistry in Lynchburg and Alexandria, Virginia, Cumberland, Maryland, and also out of the McGuire Hotel in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In addition to the hotel, Dr. Harris had his hand in a Fredericksburg area taxi service and McGuire, Inc., a construction company that built many homes in the Mayfield area. After Dr. Harris died in 1973, the hotel was sold to Shiloh Baptist Church (New Site). The church decided to tear it down and build on the site. The McGuire will always be remembered as a place that welcomed African Americans and gave them a place to relax without fear or embarrassment.
The Rappahannock Hotel (click here to view pic) was built and operated by Arthur Brown, Sr. and his sons, Robert and Arthur, Jr. Arthur, Sr. was a skilled carpenter. The twelve room hotel featured a restaurant and boasted of its modern advancements. In addition to the hotel, Arthur, Jr. and his daughter, Mildred Brown Queen, operated Brown Funeral Home, located next door to the hotel. Mrs. Queen is known for actively advocating for and pushing blacks to vote in the Fredericksburg area. The funeral home is now A.L. Bennett Funeral Home.
Central Rappahannock Heritage Center, crhcarchives.org
Obituaries of Dr. Harris and Mr. Brown
City’s 2006 Wall of Honor Recipents Served their Community. 3 April 2009. Librarypoint.org.
Hicks, J. L. (1955 April 12). Viewing Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Balitimore Afro-American, pp. 7.
Pezzullo, E. (2005 October 1). Business bids block farewell. The Free Lance-Star.
Pezzullo, E. (1979 February 2). Vacancy. The Free Lance-Star, pp. 13-14.