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Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

St. Peter Claver Catholic School

 
 
St. Peter Claver Catholic School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, January 19, 2017
1. St. Peter Claver Catholic School Marker
Inscription.  In 1893, the Jesuit Fathers at Sacred Heart Church established a school on Morgan Street. St. Peter Claver Catholic School, named for the Spanish Jesuit missionary priest, was founded for the children of the African American community. On February 2, 1894, Mary Germaine and Marie Aurelle, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, began classes with 16 students.

On the night of February 12, 1894, the school was destroyed by arson. A note tacked upon an oak tree warned:

"This inscription is posted in this place to say that the late fire on these grounds was not caused by any ill feeling to the Catholic Church, but because the citizens do not propose to submit to a negro school in the midst of the white and retired resident portion of the city; and warn that in case another institution of the same character is operated in this vicinity it too will certainly cause destruction of the convent and your other Churches. Remember, this is positive."

The property, on the corner of Scott and Governor Streets, was purchased by Rev. William Tyrell, S.J. and Bishop John Moore. A wooden building was erected in 1896 and replaced by the present

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two-story red brick building in 1929. An annex was erected in 1952. As of 2015, the school is Florida's oldest existing African American school.
 
Erected 2016 by Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council, St. Peter Claver Alumni.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionEducation. A significant historical date for this entry is February 2, 1894.
 
Location. 27° 57.389′ N, 82° 27.226′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of North Governor Street and East Scott Street, on the right when traveling north on North Governor Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 North Governor Street, Tampa FL 33602, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Scrub (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Perry Harvey, Sr., Park Skateboard Bowl (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greater Bethel Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Central Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greater New Salem Primitive Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Brooke Mass Grave (approx. ¼ mile away); Tampa Native Americans (approx. ¼ mile away); Pioneer Priests' Graves (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
St. Peter Claver Catholic School Marker and school image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tim Fillmon, January 19, 2017
2. St. Peter Claver Catholic School Marker and school
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2017. It was originally submitted on January 23, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 467 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 23, 2017, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 23, 2024