January 17, 2023
An image of two Eatonville residents, Vera King and John Beacham, that want to preserve the land where the first Black school in Central Florida once stood.

The 100 acres of land where the first school for Black children in Central Florida once stood is up for sale, reports WMFE. Some Eatonville residents are fighting to protect it.

History professor Scot French stated that the school fell into disrepair during World War II. “There were conversations with Mary McLeod Bethune and Bethune, University. I’m not sure if it was called Bethune Cookman at that time, but the idea was that they might create a satellite campus in Eatonville,” said French. “That did not come to fruition. And so a decision was made to transfer the property to Orange County Public Schools.”

One Eatonville resident’s petition to protect the land has garnered over 1,200 signatures. He’ll present it to the Eatonville Town Council at their next meeting.

Listen to the full WMFE article here.