Historic Black Owned Business Still Up and Running - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/19/07 - Lufkin

Historic Black Owned Business Still Up and Running

by Ramonica R. Jones

The Lewis Motel in Lufkin has been around since 1961. Owner Virginia Lewis has seen plenty of unforgettable changes over the past 46 years, including integration.

"I guess [white people] were afraid to be in a black area," said Lewis. "They thought something would happen to them and they wouldn't come and stay, but most of our [guests] was just traveling people and most of them would stay."

The rooms are small and there aren't as many amenities as in some of the more popular motels, but Lewis said that's something many of her guests don't seem to mind.

"I don't have everything that they have," said Lewis. "I don't have telephones, I have intercom; I can call the rooms, they can call me, but they can't call out. I've never been able to purchase one, they're so expensive."

Lewis runs the motel all by herself, but now has weekly - instead of daily - visitors to cut down on her workload. She's had offers from people looking to buy her business, but has no plans to sell anytime soon.

"The right person hadn't come by yet so I'm waiting on that. I'll be here until the right person comes along."

Angelina County's only black-owned motel sits on Kurth Drive in a predominantly black community, but the doors are always open to everyone.

The S.T. Lewis Motel has 18 rooms and is currently being remodeled. It is named after its founder, Stanley Taurus Lewis, who died in 1992.

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