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Vanessa Harris' wonderful new book is here!

The Lewis Railroad Hotel

The Lewis Railroad Hotel served African American railroad workers in the early 20th century as the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company extended its tracks through San Augustine. The circa 1870 building is one of the few remaining traces of the economic opportunities seized by African Americans in the face of segregation.  The hotel not only provided a safe haven for Black travelers through the area, but also served as a home for Black men working on the railroad.

In March 2012, the City of San Augustine received notification from Preservation Texas that the hotel had been added to Texas’ Most Endangered Places.  If the hotel is not preserved immediately, an important piece of history will be lost forever.

Restoring the Lewis Railroad Hotel into a historical museum is a powerful opportunity to honor the courageous contributions made by African Americans in the heyday of the railroad era.  This project is a victory for justice, racial reconciliation, and diversity, and represents how far this community has come since the time when dedicated, hardworking African Americans were threatened because of the color of their skin.

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