Figure of the Week

Harry Selah Brown

Born c.1884 - Died 1967

Harry Selah Brown (c.1884-1967) was a native of New York City.  In 1909 he opened one of Fredericksburg’s first movie theaters.  An accomplished musician, he played the piano while the silent movies were being shown.  In 1927 he founded Brown’s Motel, one of the early motels and tourist camps that were built after U. S. Route 1 was paved between Richmond and Washington.  Some of the buildings still stand across U. S. Route 1 from Drew Middle School.  His home is still standing about a quarter-mile south of there, though it’s recently been refurbished and converted into a business.  Harry S. Brown retired as a foreman of the FMC Avisco plan in Spotsylvania.  He may also have worked as secretary of the Austin Run Mining Company in 1910.