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

East Florida Seminary

 
 
East Florida Seminary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 29, 2012
1. East Florida Seminary Marker
Inscription. Founded as the Gainesville Academy before the Civil War and later renamed, the East Florida Seminary served Gainesville's need for higher education until the University of Florida was created by the Florida Legislature in 1905. The Seminary school building, erected after an earlier structure burned in 1833, was converted to use as a fellowship hall by the First Methodist Church, at 419 N.E. 1st Avenue.
 
Erected 1969 by Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials. (Marker Number F-166.)
 
Location. 29° 39.142′ N, 82° 19.385′ W. Marker is in Gainesville, Florida, in Alachua County. Marker is on E. University Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located between 1st Street NE & 3rd Street NE at Municipal Building, southside plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 E. University Avenue, Gainesville FL 32601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. City of Gainesville (a few steps from this marker); First Gainesville Skirmish / Battle of Gainesville (a few steps from this marker); Spanish Cattle Ranching (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Soldier Memorial
East Florida Seminary Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 29, 2012
2. East Florida Seminary Marker
(was about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported permanently removed. ); Alachula County Courthouse (about 700 feet away); The Gainesville Servicemen's Center / Thelma Boltin Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Josiah T. Walls (approx. 0.2 miles away); Roper Park / Old City Park (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gainesville.
 
Regarding East Florida Seminary. EFS was a private school in Gainesville from 1866 to 1905, and it was the "earliest parent of the University of Florida," according to Sam Proctor in "Gator History." Epworth Hall, known today, is the only East Florida Seminary building that survived. In 1911 it was deeded to the First United Methodist Church, located at 419 Northeast 1st Street. Today the entrance to Epworth Hall is on the west side of the building, but as part of the East Florida Seminary the entrance was on the south side.
In 1851 the Florida Legislature passed a bill to establish two tax-supported state schools—one in East Florida, the other in West Florida, divided by the Suwannee River—and the sites would be determined by which two counties
East Florida Seminary Marker, at the Municipal Building's southside plaza image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 29, 2012
3. East Florida Seminary Marker, at the Municipal Building's southside plaza
offered the most in land and resources. A year later, in 1852, East Florida Seminary was founded as a fee-based school in Ocala but, short of funds, the school asked for state support. That support was granted in 1853 and EFS resources (land, buildings and cash) were turned over to the state.
Over the years, Mr. James Henry Roper, an educator from North Carolina, built a school called the Gainesville Academy on Northeast 1st Street. Mr. Roper was also a State Senator from Alachua County, and in 1866 he offered his land and school to the State of Florida in exchange for the relocation of EFS to Gainesville. His offer was accepted. The impact of East Florida Seminary on Gainesville was extensive. As the best school in this part of the state, it was a magnet to new settlers, resulting in greater opportunities and prosperity for everyone. East Florida Seminary was absorbed into the University of Florida in 1905-1906. (The Alachua County Library District)
 
Also see . . .  Division of Library and Information Services: Florida Memory. Petition to Establish the East Florida Seminary in Alachua County, 1852.... (Submitted on August 1, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Education
 
East Florida Seminary, known today as Epworth Hall image. Click for full size.
By engraving of East Florida Seminary's Academic Building
4. East Florida Seminary, known today as Epworth Hall
from "Eden of the South" by Carl Webber, 1883.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 1, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 502 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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