A new name is under consideration for an Altavista community park, in honor of a prominent African American figure in Altavista’s history.
In a Town Council work session held on July 28, Councilman Reggie Bennett suggested naming the town-owned park on Lola Avenue in honor of John Mosley, who moved to the area in 1909 to work for the Lane Company before building his own concrete construction business. Bennett said Mosley was instrumental in the founding of Altavista’s African American community, inviting many of his friends to move to Altavista to find work. Mosley also took an active part in building the larger Altavista community, including founding the first school in Altavista, named Mosley Heights, which was also used as the first church house for African Americans in Altavista. Later, Mosley was instrumental in building the current First Baptist church on Bedford Avenue. Today, the Mosley Heights area of Altavista is named for Mr. Mosley, in honor of his former residence there.
“John Mosley sets a good example for all of Altavista, especially our youth,” Bennett said. “As history is being rethought, and sometimes torn down, I think we should think about adding history to our daily lives.”
“It would be my hope and desire that we could rename this park the John Mosley Memorial Park,” Bennett said, noting his desire for a plaque to be erected celebrating Mosley’s impressive achievements. Bennett said he thinks everyone in Altavista could learn from Mosley’s achievements.
The council supported Mayor Mike Maddox’s plan to place this item on the agenda for the next Town Council work session, scheduled for Tuesday, August 25th, at 5:00 PM.
Other items for the council’s consideration included a request by Citizens for Altavista Baseball for installation of new fencing and updates to existing fencing at the ballpark at War Memorial Park; ideas for improvements to the Booker Building at English Park; reauthorization of the Urban Archery deer management program on town-owned property; updates concerning the cleanup work at the Hub Scrap property; and consideration of new ideas for promoting and advertising the town of Altavista in area publications.
The Citizens for Altavista Baseball presented a request to replace 485 feet of chain-link fence at the ballpark at War Memorial Park. The new fence would include slats installed to enhance aesthetics and provide better wind control for the ballpark. The council decided to place this item on the agenda for its next meeting, scheduled for 6:00 PM August 11.
Suggested improvements for the Booker building included various options for the resurfacing of the facility’s concrete floors, as well as the possibility of erecting a shade structure in the area adjacent to the building. The council decided to table both items until the next work session, pending further review and advice from experts and local stakeholders.
The council re-approved the Urban Archery deer management program, which allows archery harvest of deer on town-owned property, for this year. Town staff will begin the process of accepting applications and issuing Urban Archery permits this week. More information on the Urban Archery program is available on the DGIF website.
In a long and cordial discussion, the council received an update on the progress of the cleanup at the Hub Scrap property from Gregory Dahbura, CEO of Hub Scrap Metals, LLC. The council expressed their thanks to Mr. Dahbura for attending the meeting and updating the council in person, and expressed optimism for the continued partnership between the town of Altavista and Hub Scrap Metals, LLC. No action by the council was required or taken at this time.
The council also considered the marketing and promotion of the Town of Altavista, brainstorming ways to better promote Altavista to the wider public in and beyond the Commonwealth. The council considered an opportunity to place promotional materials in Virginia Living magazine, a publication with a readership of over 500,000, and considered several different angles to take in its future promotional efforts, before tabling the discussion until the next work session.