Thomasville community helps to preserve historic site

Thomasville community helps to preserve historic site
Historic Imperial Hotel that once brought relief to African American's in the mid 90s (Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - After many years of vacancy, one historical site now has a new owner.

The owner of The Imperial Hotel said this was once a safe haven for African Americans in the mid 1900′s as they traveled south.

The community takes great pride in preserving its history, and with several grants they can now move forward with plans to preserve this site.

Jack Hadley, owner of The Jack Hadley’s Black History Museum told me collecting artifacts of black history was his first passion.

Jack Hadley, one of the owners of the hotel (Source: WALB)
Jack Hadley, one of the owners of the hotel (Source: WALB)

“It’s good for the community, and all the children white or black to learn more about African American history on the local level most important,” said Hadley.

In 2006, he opened a Black History museum celebrating local history.

Soon after, he began learning about the significance of The Imperial Hotel.

“I did not think too much of this when I first came back, until I really got into black history,” said Hadley.

The Green Book details the role the hotel played in the mid 90′s, it was owned and operated by an African American for 20 years and was one of about 10 places that accommodated African American travelers.

“As blacks traveling anywhere around the country you looked for a black hotel. If you didn’t see a sign flashing ‘color, color, color’ you kept on driving,” said Hadley.

He said this hotel once brought great relief to African Americans.

So, despite the long rehabilitation process Hadley said he’s willing to take on the project to preserve this part of history.

For Hadley and others to make this possible, he says they will continue to need your support.

One way you can help is by visiting www.jackhadleyblackhistorymuseum.com or visiting the museum on 214 Alexander St. in Thomasville to donate money.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.