Tag Archives: Hobson

African American Historic Place Demolished in Virginia, Despite Protests

The Masonic Lodge in Hobson, recently destroyed by the City of Suffolk, Virginia. In this 2002 photo, then-Suffolk Councilman E. Dana Dickens III is seen with Hobson resident Mary Ellen Hill, who was one of the two women arrested Monday on misdemeanor charges during an unsuccessful attempt to save the former Masonic Lodge building, seen behind them. Virginian-Pilot file photo.

A Masonic Lodge that was the centerpiece of Hobson, an early 20th century African American waterman’s community in Virginia, was recently demolished by the City of Suffolk, despite protests from the local community and standing in front of the bulldozers.  The 1950 Masonic Lodge served as a community meeting place, general store, school, philanthropic organization, and rallying point for political activism in the village of Hobson, which was recently placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.  Only portions of downtown Suffolk are locally protected as historic districts.

According to the October 25, 2011 edition of the Virginian-Pilot:

In a last-ditch effort to save a historic building from the bulldozer Monday morning, two community activists placed themselves inside a circa-1912 former Masonic Lodge in the rural village of Hobson and pleaded with police to send a city wrecking crew away.  Instead, police arrested Continue reading