“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wildwood in Sumter County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Royal School Site

Royal School Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 18, 2011
1. Royal School Site Marker
(Side 1)
Royal Community Park is the site of the former segregated Royal School. Founded in 1865, the community of Royal was originally known as Picketsville, which was named for the white picket fences that marked its 40-acre homesteads. It was settled by former slaves from the Old Green Plantation located on the Withlacoochee River. The settlement was called Royal by the late 1880s and the community's post office was established on June 26, 1891. Royal's first industries were farming, logging, and naval stores. In 1874, the Reverend Alfred Brown built the community's first school, a one-room schoolhouse. Because the school was centrally located, children, staff, and teachers were able to walk to school. Later, a three-room school constructed of wooden planks and board windows was built. Perman E. Williams, the school's first officially appointed principal, served during the 1937-38 school year. Men from the community, along with Principal Williams, served as trustees for the school. During the 1930s, the trustees requested and received approval from the Sumter County School Board to build a new Royal school.

(Side 2)
The last and largest Royal School was built following an agreement that Sumter County would furnish materials and the Royal Community would provide the labor to construct the new school.
Royal School Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, March 18, 2011
2. Royal School Site Marker
Richard Smith donated the land for the school, and workers from the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) joined a group of local volunteers to build the facility. The ten-room school was constructed of wooden planks and accommodated 108 students. In 1947, Alonzo A. Young began his tenure as the school's last principal. In 1954, the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the Brown vs. Board of Education case ended years of organized segregation in public education. At the time, there were eight black schools in Sumter County. The county, however, did not embrace integration until the 1970-71 school year. Following integration, students from the Royal School transferred to the Wildwood elementary, middle, and high schools. In 1984, the Royal School was torn down and a combination community center and fire station was built on the site. The school's 1945 cafeteria, a separate building, was retained and still stands at its original location.
Erected 2010 by The Royal Library Association, Sumter Board of County Commissioners, Sumter,LLC, T&D Concrete,Inc., Young Performing Artists,Inc., and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-700.)
Location. 28° 53.743′ N, 82° 5.682′ W. Marker is near Wildwood, Florida, in Sumter County. Marker is on NE 5th St 0.1 miles north of County Road 462, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located in the Royal Community northwest of the city of Wildwood and east of I-75. Marker is in this post office area: Wildwood FL 34785, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Oak Grove Cemetery Confederate Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.1 miles away); Adamsville (approx. 7.9 miles away); Sumterville (approx. 10.6 miles away); Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 10.8 miles away); The Battle of Wahoo Swamp (approx. 15.6 miles away); Attorney Virgil Darnell Hopkins (approx. 15.8 miles away).
Categories. African AmericansEducation
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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