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Ocoee in Orange County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Orange County Election Day Violence/ Ocoee Massacre and Exodus

 
 
Orange County Election Day Violence Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 24, 2020
1. Orange County Election Day Violence Side of Marker
Inscription.  
Orange County Election Day Violence
Leading up to Election Day on November 2, 1920, the Ku Klux Klan and the United Confederate Veterans held rallies and parades to discourage African Americans from voting. County officials arranged for the local notary public to be out of town, so that there would be no one to legally affirm that voters had paid their poll taxes. On Election Day, only African Americans were challenged to prove they had paid the tax. One African American man, Mose Norman, attempted to vote at the Ocoee polling place, but was refused entry. Norman left and returned later, but was beaten and driven from the site. An armed group of white citizens sought to arrest Norman. They went first to the home of Julius “July” Perry, a prominent African American businessman, but by the time they arrived, Norman had fled. The group attempted to enter Perry’s home, but the family resisted. A gunfight ensued that left two whites dead and Perry gravely injured. He was taken to the Orange County Jail in Orlando, but a white mob secured his release and lynched him near the home of Judge John M. Cheney.
Ocoee Massacre and Exodus Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 24, 2020
2. Ocoee Massacre and Exodus Side of Marker
Perry was later buried in Orlando’s Greenwood Cemetery. This event led to further tragedy in Orange County.

Ocoee Massacre and Exodus
In 1920, the Ocoee area included two African American communities, Northern Quarters and Southern Quarters. A white mob reported to be at least 100 persons entered Northern Quarters on November 3, 1920. During a long house-to-house gun battle, the mob set fire to buildings owned by or serving African Americans, including a lodge, homes, businesses, schools, and churches. Anyone attempting to flee a burning building was shot, and those who remained died in the fire. In the days following, residents of Southern Quarters were told to abandon their property or face the same fate. Based on 1920 census data, 495 African American residents in Ocoee were driven out. Local authorities confiscated the abandoned property, and divided it amongst the white residents of the area. No records of the deaths were kept, and those related to the property sales were lost. African Americans did not return to the area until the 1980s. Ocoee’s population rapidly grew and diversified with the housing construction boom. In acknowledgement of its past, the Ocoee City Commission formed Florida’s first human relations diversity advisory board in 2006, and designated a portion of Lakefront Park as an area of remembrance and reflection in 2019.
Orange County Election Day Violence/ Ocoee Massacre and Exodus Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, November 24, 2020
3. Orange County Election Day Violence/ Ocoee Massacre and Exodus Marker

 
Erected 2019 by the City of Ocoee, and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-1078.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 28° 34.246′ N, 81° 32.506′ W. Marker is in Ocoee, Florida, in Orange County. Marker is at the intersection of North Lakeshore Drive and Oakland Avenue, on the right when traveling south on North Lakeshore Drive. Located on the western shore of Starke Lake in Ocoee. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ocoee FL 34761, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Christian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Winter Garden Downtown Historic District (approx. 2.6 miles away); Pounds Motor Company (approx. 2.8 miles away); Brick Road (approx. 4.2 miles away); Lovell's Landing at Lake Apopka (approx. 4˝ miles away); Cal Palmer Memorial Building (approx. 5.2 miles away); Windermere Town Hall (approx. 5.3 miles away); 1887 Windermere Schoolhouse (approx. 5.4 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Marker Dedication. (Submitted on November 26, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 26, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.
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Mar. 7, 2021