Eatonville Town Hall

 

Served as home for famous persons such as folklorist, anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston, former football player/actor David Jones, former Mayor Rev. John Huston, Joseph E. Clarke and more known prominent persons, the town of Eatonville in Florida is the oldest incorporated all-African American municipality in the United States on August 15, 1887.

 

The town was named after Captain Josiah C. Eaton, a white landowner who sold enough land to African Americans and helped establish the town.

 

He was also the first mayor of the municipality, after finally turning over the land to the black community. Eatonville has attracted settlers because the peaceful site was found to be an ideal place for family living. The 2.8 square kilometer town is a home for 2,432 people.

eatonville town hall, orlando

Although the town’s population is no longer exclusive to African Americans, they are undoubtedly remains the majority (89.31% of the population is African American, the rest of the pie chart is shared by Asians, Hispanics, and Whites). Eatonville’s pride also lies on its Historic trails. One is the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, which has been Eatonville's important standing attribution to its churches and schools.

 

Founded in 1883, the church has been a meeting place for both Methodists and Baptists, until on 1889 when the Baptists bought their own wooden frame building where they can hold their own meetings. Eatonville also has its famous night life place: the Heroes' Night Club which opened in 1946 as Club Eaton. This was considered to be the first big time club in town, having booked famous artists such as James Brown, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner, among others. The night club was constructed by one of the wealthiest black men in Central Florida, Conder Merritt.

Other Historic sites of Eatonville are the Moseley House, the Site of First Office which is now occupied by the Eatonville Fire Department, Robert Hungerford Preparatory High School formerly known as the Robert Hungerfod Normal and Industrial since 1889 before it changed to its present name in 1967. Robert Hungerford Elementary School and The St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1881

Definitely one of the most prominent personalities in Eatonville is Zora Neale Hurston. For starters, Hurston is an author whose inspiration was generally drawn from her all-black hometown. Her most widely-acclaimed 1937 novel is "Their Eyes Were Watching God," where an overview of the town's founding was narrated by the main character. She died on January 26, 1960. In 1989, Eatonville introduced the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and the Humanities, in her honor, which became an annual event. She also served as inspiration for the establishment of the Zora Neal (without the "e") Hurston Library. A one monument was also dedicated to her naming her as the "Eatonville's Daughter."