Local amateur historian, Fred Hinson,
with the "Ol' Auction Block"


I used to ferry elderly residents of Page County, Virginia to and from the senior center at the American Legion Building close to where the "stone" is located.  I was curious about it and asked one of the old timers what it was.

 She said "Oh, that's the ol' auction block".  

"Auction block?  Auctioned what?" I asked.  

"Slaves,"  she replied.

I was floored.   Over the years, a number of ol' timers confirmed that was what they had heard or been told as well. Several of them remember it standing just down from the court house prior to 1937 before it was removed in order to widen West Main Street.    A number had also heard  that the basement of the house on the NE corner of West Main and N Court St. was the main slave holding pen, and actually had shackles embedded in the walls on up into the early 1930s.  

It is awesome to contemplate seemingly isolated occurrences that happened years ago that relate to where we are now.  God is so far ahead of us that we can't help but follow his lead. 


Fred Hinson



    Frederick Lee Hinson Jr., 61, of Luray, Va., a well-known businessman, musician and community activist on behalf of African-Americans and other minorities, died Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2005, at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va.

    Mr. Hinson was born on Aug. 9, 1944, in Washington, D.C., and was a son of Frederick Lee Hinson Sr. of Hollis, N.Y., and the late Doris Tyler Carter Hinson.

    He was an Air Force veteran and was owner and operator of Alcove Assisted Living in Luray. He attended St. John Baptist Church in Luray, where he played the organ. He was a member of the combined choir of St. John and Bethel Baptist Church and a frequent soloist with the Page County Community Choir and the Unity Choir in Harrisonburg. He was a member of the NAACP and a founding member of the Concerned Citizens for Equality of Page County. He was also active with the Page County Habitat for Humanity organization.

    Mr. Hinson was instrumental in gaining recognition for the slave auction block in Luray's Inn Lawn Park, one of the few remaining symbols of black slavery left in Virginia. He had made a symbolic pilgrimage to the African nation of Nigeria to exchange soil from the site from which slaves were shipped in the 18th and 19th centuries and the slave auction block site in Luray.

    Surviving in addition to his father are two sisters, Gaynelle Owens of Glenn Dale, Md., and Robyn Hinson-Jones of Washington, D.C., former U.S. consul to Lagos, Nigeria and a professional in the U.S. Department of State.

    A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Bradley Funeral Home in Luray, Va. Burial will be in the Culpeper National Cemetery, Culpeper, Va.

    The family will receive friends from 7-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the funeral home.


Ever since I was young, my enemies have persecuted me cruelly, but they have not overcome me. They cut deep wounds in my back and made it like a plowed field. But the Lord has freed me from slavery. May everyone who hates Zion be defeated and driven back.

Psalm 129:2-5


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