AUGUSTA, Ga. – “Dent’s as a family owned business- Julia and John Dent passing it on to their children and to their grandchildren. And two of the names that we remember is Thomasina Catch, who was the last family member to operate Dent’s funeral home,” says Joyce Law, an historian.
While a fire Saturday morning burned Dent’s Funeral Home. Historian Joyce Law tells us the legacy of the family owned business will be rooted there forever.
Law tells us the history of the second oldest African American funeral home in Augusta. Mainly how it became an anchor in providing work for the community.
“You would have the printing of funeral programs, you would have coffins being made, you would have horses to take care of, you would have hearses and of course you had the chapel. So there was many people other than the funeral director that were important for the operation of the business,” says Law.
Built in 1900, the funeral home gave families a proper burial. But it was also a place the Dent’s called home living upstairs. The building has been empty for nearly a decade.
“Unfortunately the Dent’s did not have the right person in place to carry on the legacy, because it was a family owned business. It was a lot of trust that was involved. And that trust was highly violated,” says Law.
Law tells us this is another erasure in African American history and encourages the community to preserve the historic landmarks we have.
“As we lose these buildings our stories will become distorted, because we don’t know more of the whole picture first of all because there is no visual cues. So we need to take a much more stronger interest any way that we can to understand the buildings what they represent,” says Law.