Dudley’s Retreat, 1940s, Dublin

This structure was built to house the growing food business of the Dudley family when Dudley Funeral Home became the sole occupant of the nearby C. D. Dudley & Sons General Merchandise building. Herbert (Hub) and Mayme Ford Dudley were already leaders of the black community of Dublin and their Retreat Cafe became a community center. Well-known entertainers, including Little Richard, James Brown, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe all visited here while traveling through Dublin. I met a nice lady while I was photographing the property who remembered Mrs. Mayme Dudley quite well.

Original neon “EAT” sign, dating to World War II

During World War II, Mr. Dudley operated a USO in this building for Black servicemen. The structure remains sound today but was listed as a 2023 Place in Peril by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation because it has been in disuse for many years.

3 thoughts on “Dudley’s Retreat, 1940s, Dublin

  1. Victor McGough

    I know there is a town between Macon and Dublin named Dudley. Does the town have anything to do with Mr. Dudley?


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