I became aware of this building on a historic resources survey. It’s identified as a church, but the chalkboard makes me think it was a school. Many churches served as schools, too, and based on how rural this building is, and I think it is safe to assume it’s both.
I haven’t found much information on the church, but I love the archways and the towers. My favorite unexpected detail is the CME spelled out in the bricks at the top.
Clayton and Katie Dudley moved to Dublin from Cordele in the late 1800s. They started several businesses that provided goods and services to the Black community. This building started as a grocery store run by the family. Later they began the funeral home in this space as the C. D. Dudley & Son, Undertakers & Embalmers in 1922.
Herbert “Hub” Dudley was the son of Clayton and Katie Dudley, who started several businesses in Dudley. At the corner of Jackson and Truxton Streets, the family opened up a motel, gas station, and cafe to accommodate Black travelers.
Dudley opened up this space to provide food for the Black officers of the United Services Organization, hence the name “Retreat.” After the conclusion of World War II, Dudley continued to serve food, but now It was to the general public. Well-known acts such as Little Richard, Rosetta Tharpe, and James Brown stopped by the restaurant; sometimes, they entertained patrons. It was a full-service restaurant that offered such treats as fresh doughnuts, ice cream, and Coca-Cola.