Highlighting another Lowndes County Woman for Women’s History Month

Susie Shelton, Local Historian

As a mother, and a resource teacher for 18 years, Shelton believes that the youth of the community should hold pride in their heritage. She works to educate them about the importance of learning, and preserving, their own history.

As a local historian, she is devoted to preserving the history of the African American culture of Columbus and Lowndes County. Having served several years as a member of the Columbus Historical Preservation Committee, Shelton worked to locate buildings and landmarks which needed to be recognized and preserved within the city.

One historical site was the Queen City Hotel. Located on the 1500th block of 7th Avenue North, it was the first hotel for Black people in this area, dating back to about 1914.

For several decades, the Queen City Hotel was the heart and soul of the Black Community and Business, which flourished during the Hotel’s best years. Many famous performers were welcome there—Louis Armstrong, Pearl Baily, B.B. King, James Brown, Billie Holliday, and Little Richard are just a few known guests.

Over the last several decades, the Hotel had fallen into an endangered state of degeneration—but not forgotten. For several years saving the Hotel was a mission for Shelton, its owners, and many others, who battled to preserve its history.

Despite exhausting efforts, the Queen City Hotel was demolished on Friday, November 16, 2007. This heartbreaking loss brings light to the importance of preserving our cities historical facts and landmarks.

The information we presently have recorded is limited, and Shelton’s work has been a vital contribution—not only to African American history, but to the overall history of Columbus, Lowndes County, and the State of Mississippi.

The above information is taken from articles clipped from the “Commercial Dispatch” newspaper and a booklet written by Susie Shelton, which are stored in Vertical Files, and kept in the Local History Department vault. File names are: “Organization- Columbus Historical Preservation Committee” and “Hotel- Queen City Hotel”.

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Published in: on March 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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