Eatonville, FL

DESCRIPTION: Twenty seven African American men, led by Joe Clarke, carefully planned and built the nation’s first incorporated, town for African Americans in 1887; though self sufficient with a post office, clean water supply, ranches, a railroad station, Hotel Eatonville and Hungerford Normal & Industrial School, this was not a sleepy industrious town all the time -- big name performing artists on the Chitlin’ Circuit played Club Eaton on Apopka Street; the town is most famous as the inspirational home of writer, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), a true Renaissance sister; Zora, while interpreting life in Eatonville as fiction in her writing, is credited with exposing literary America and Europe to the realities of life for southern rural Blacks; she was also a great influence on Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and Toni Cade Bambara; thanks largely to the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, the town is on the National Register of Historic Places and many original property lines and historic markers are in place allowing you to explore it at s leisurely pace; Thurston House, home to Zora Neale Hurston, located at 851 Lake Ave is now a Bed & Breakfast; the landmark Eatonville Water Tower is easily seen from I-4 Freeway

ADDRESS: Kennedy Blvd

Callahan Neighborhood

DESCRIPTION: Began in 1886, it is the oldest African American community in Orlando; civic leaders for the neighborhood led the efforts to restored and a establish historic markers for various sites in this post-Civil War community; in fact many Black soldiers from the Civil War settled here; how fitting that today the neighborhood center hosts many cultural events year round

ADDRESS: bounded by Colonial Drive, Central Ave, Division Street and Orange Blossom Trail MAP

J.A. Colyer Building

DESCRIPTION: Built 1911 and housed the Colyer and Williams tailor shop, possibly the earliest African American business located among European American businesses in Orlando; it is currently a commercial establishment

TELEPHONE: 770-608-4198

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