Old Masonic Hall, Waverly, Va.

Old Masonic Hall, Waverly, Va.  Photo by Andy Brack.

Old Masonic Hall, Waverly, Va. Photo by Andy Brack.

At first, we thought this was an old church, especially since it is across a field from what we took for a newer incarnation of the Waverly International Congregational Church on Coppahaunk Avenue.

But it turns out this building with plywood over some of the windows is actually the small community’s old Masonic Hall, according to an old friend who is distressed about the slow decay of his hometown these days.  “It was a great place to grow up,” he remembers.

Waverly, which had 2,149 residents in 2010 (160 fewer than 10 years earlier), is in rural Sussex County, a heartland of Virginia’s famous peanuts.  Sussex County, which had more than 20 percent of people living in poverty in 2000, has some 15.6 percent of people in poverty as of the 2010 Census.  About 60 percent of the county’s residents are black.

Copyrighted photo taken July 23, 2013, by Andy Brack, Center for a Better South. All rights reserved.