Eatonville in Orange County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The community of Eatonville was established by and for African Americans whose dream it was to govern themselves.Between 1880 and 1930, hundreds of such communities were established but few remain. Eatonville holds the distinction of being the first of these communities to incorporate, establishing an all-Black municipal government in 1887. The town continues to thrive as a predominately African American community. Eatonville is also known as the hometown of Zora Neale Hurston, 20th Century writer, folklorist and anthropologist. Her writings have made Eatonville renowned internationally as a center for African American culture. Quotations from her books show us Eatonville as she saw it.
"I was born in a Negro town. I do not mean by that the black. back-side of an average town. Eatonville, Florida, is, and was at the time of my birth, a pure Negro town—charter, mayor,council, town marshal and all. It was not the first Negro community in America, but it was the first to be incorporated, the first attempt at organized self-government
—Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road
The preservation trail describes ten historic sites on these markers, giving the traveler a glimpse of what life was like in a small rural town in early twentieth century America. The sites show areas clearly devoted to commercial, residential and religious purposes.
Community pride is evident by this sign welcoming people to Eatonville. The St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church is seen in the background.
This is a notice that appeared on the front page of the Town's weekly newspaper, The Eatonville Speaker, on January 22. 1889.
Eatonville Preservation Trail.
Erected by The Town of Eatonville Community Redevelopment Agency.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 28° 37.107′ N, 81° 22.89′ W. Marker is in Eatonville, Florida, in Orange County. Marker is at the intersection of East Kennedy Boulevard and South College Avenue, on the left when traveling east on East Kennedy Boulevard. Located in front of the Eatonville Town Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 307 E Kennedy Blvd, Maitland FL 32751, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Mack’s Auto Repair Garage (within shouting distance of this marker); Hungerford School (within shouting distance of this marker); Eatonville Fire Department (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Zora Neale Hurston (about 700 feet away); Joe Clark’s Store (about 700 feet away); Eatonville Town Hall (about 700 feet away); Club Eaton (about 700 feet away); Eatonville Police Department (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eatonville.
Also see . . . The Incredible, Historic Town of Eatonville, Florida. (Submitted on April 28, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 28, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 28, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.