I’ve admired this structure for many years, thinking that it must have originally been an automobile dealership, but in the process of documenting some historic properties of the Dudley family, I discovered it is actually a well-established funeral home, celebrating its centennial this year. It is one of the best-known landmarks of Dublin’s African-American community and features some of the finest commercial brickwork I’ve seen in rural Georgia.
The brickwork is what first caught my eye and is obviously the work of a very skilled mason. Dudley Funeral Home notes that the building originated as a general merchandise store circa 1900, one of the first black owned businesses in Dublin. In 1922, the funeral home was established in the store building, typical of the era. Other business originated here, as well, including a barber shop, casket showroom, and realty and investment business. During the early 1940s, the funeral home and casket business had grown to a point that they occupied the entire building; the other businesses were relocated. The present brick facade was added at this time.