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Black heritage : North Central Florida : Alachua, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, and Taylor Counties
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 Material Information
Title: Black heritage : North Central Florida : Alachua, Columbia, Gadsden, Hamilton, and Taylor Counties
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Gainesville (Fla.). Department of Cultural Affairs
Publication Date: 2004
Copyright Date: 2004
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00020071:00001

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African Americans have
played a significant role in
Florida's history, including
contributions to the armed
forces, the space program,
arts and entertainment,
education, and politics.

Still housed on the farm are
the original milking
barn, carnage house
and water well. A
beautiful old wood-
en swing still hangs
from the ceiling on
the east side of the
uniquely built wooden
porch. Inside the beautiful while
frame house is a double fireplace, (between two bed-
rooms). The living room has a beautiful large parlor, an old
hand-made mirror and a trunk that was known as the "nch
man's trunk" because of its distinguished hump which not
only allowed it to be placed at the top of the heap when the
carriage was packed but to be the first trunk off when the
carriage arrived at the station.

The Greater United Liberty Hill Episcopal
Church and Cemetery
7600 NW 23rd Avenue
Not only did the church serve as the religious home of
many families from the area but it was also the home of the
Farmer's Aide Society This Society, a group of pioneer
farmers, joined together to establish a financial base for its
members During a lime when many families did not have
money for health care and burials, this group was able to
establish scholarships and financial support during illness-
es and loss of life. This aid society was started by a group
of farmers that included Joe Duncan, Peter Jonas, Rev.
Chatman Haile, and Johnny Roundtree and is still in exis-
tence today. Mr. Joe Duncan is buried in the Liberty Hill

The Old Cotton Club
837 SE 7th Avenue
This building which is
located in the Springhdli
area, was first con-
structed as a telephone
exchange building for
Camp Blanding in Starke.
Florida in 1940-41 Since being
moved to Gainesville in 1946-47 the building has served
as a theatre and big band club called The Cotton Club,
later a nightclub with jukebox music called The Blue Note
Club. and its last use was as a warehouse. It has been
reported that bands such as James Brown and BB King
were featured there during the days when Black bands
played the "circuits". This site is not open for tours but can
be seen as a drive by. The site is currently being consid-
ered for restoration with a projected date in 2005. Contact
person can be reached at (352) 376-9956

Pleasant Street Historic District
Between NW 1st- 5th Streets and University
8th Avenues
This is the oldest and largest continuously inhabited black
residential area in Gainesville. The district is significant as
the religious and social center for black entertainment.
commerce, education and church life in the city

St. Augustine Day Care Center
405 NW 4th Avenue
This building was erected between 1875 and 1900 as a
mission church for Black people. The mission building was
moved to its present site in 1896 and became a mission
and a parochial school for K-6 students. In 1957 St.
Augustine's became the second oldest childcare center for
children in Alachua County. In 1964 the school became
integrated when it admitted a 2 year-old white child along
with his best friend who was African American

Rosa B. Williams
421 NW 1st Street
The Rosa B Williarfis
Building sits on the site of
the first school for African
Americans. Union Academy
This school served the Black
population from 1867 to 1923.

Lincoln School I A. Quinn Jones School
1108 NW 7th Avenue
The school that followed Union Academy was Lincoln
School. When the school started in the 1920s, it
included grades 1-12. and was the only accredited
school for Blacks in the county. Later it operated as a
public grade school. grades 1-8,. and was named A.
Quinn Jones School, after the only principal to ever
serve at the school.

Lincoln I Rose Theater
820 NW 5th Avenue
This theater was the only movie theater for African
Americans throughout the 1930s "40s. and "50s.

Wabash Hall
918 NW 5th Avenue
Wabash Hall was owned by the Glover and Gill Family.
During the '40s and early '50s. Lincoln School held its
proms on the second floor. After the football games, the
victory dances were always held at the Wabash Hall.
Currently the hall is being restored and is available for
drive by lours only.

Dunbar Hotel
732 NW 4th Street
The only hotel for African
Americans in Gainesville
was the Dunbar Hotel.
which was owned by Ihe
Dunbar family. Still on its orig-
inal site, the building has been
restored and is now used as a nome
for young women and their babies. This site is available
for drive by tours.

Jessie Aaron House
1207 NW 7th Avenue
A noted sculptor who sculpted from the roots of trees, Jessie
Aaron created works of art, whicn are on display in the
Smathers Library. The home of Jessie Aaron is on its original
site and is in use today. This site is available for drive by tours.

Josiah T. Walls
In 1873, Josiah T. Walls purchased an 1175-acre plantation on
the west edge of Paynes Praine In that year he also acquired
the weekly newspaper. THE NEW ERA. Later that year, he was
admitted to the Florida Bar. Remaining active in local politics,
Wall served at various times as Mayor of Gainesville, a mem-
ber of the Board of Public Instruction, County Commissioner,
Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate. and became
Florida's first black Congressman in 1870. See the
Commemorative Marker on the north side of University Avenue
and NW 1st Street.

Smathers Library
Library East, University of Florida
The Smathers Library contains an outstanding collection of
African American history. For more Information, call (352)

Black Student Union
1510 W. University Ave, University of Florida
The Black Student Union is the home of many historical facts
related to the struggle of African American students. The BSU
is open M-TH 8AM-9PM and on Fri. 8AM-5PM. More informa-
tion is available on line at www dso.ufl edu or by contacting
Mrs Alma Jackson at (352) 392-1261 x 253.

The Bland Community
7 1/2 miles north of Alachua on State Road 241
African Americans from this area were farm workers who built
a great legacy. One of the early families was that of Frank
Augustus "Gus" Day and his wife Lillie Day. They owned about
five hundred acres of land. currently about 200 acres remain in
the family. The original family home is still in use along SR 241.

The Day family were members of the Damascus Church, which
was built around 1900. The original building no longer exists but
the church did merge with New Hope Baptist Church in 1966
A monument has been placed commemorating the church
where Gus and Lillie Day worshiped

Both Augustus and Lillie Day are buried in Damascus
Cemetery, which is located on SR 236, along with many other
pioneer families There are also many graves of soldiers from
WWI, WWII and the Korean Conflict.

For more information about the African American families from
the Bland Community you may consult "The Bland Community
Families, Inc." This booklet of information is available at the
Alachua County Regional Library Millhopper Branch For more
information, contact Verdell Robinson at (352) 373-4062.

l ll .l~l~lll~lll.,.,,llU

Little Red Schoolhouse
25815 SW 2nd Avenue
This building known as the Little Red Schoolhouse is now used
as a community center Although moved from its original loca-
tion the building has been restored and is open for tours M-F
8AM-5PM. For more information call (352) 472-3927.

Hawthorne Historical Museum / Cultural Ctr.
7225 SE 221st Street
The building housing the museum was built in 1907 as the New
Hope United Methodist Church. The museum has the original
pulpit and several of the original pews. The Pastor's pulpit chair
was also restored and is on site for viewing as is the Herring
Bible, donated by one of the original members of the church.
The museum sits a few yards from the site of the original rail-
road station. Information about the annual African American
Homecoming Celebration is also available at the Museum.
Museum hours are Wed. and Fri. 10AM-2PM. Sat-Sun 1-4PM.
For more information call (352) 481-4491.

The Hawthorne Cemetery
State Road 20 just east of Hawthorne
The well-kept burial plots of African Americans are off the
road and to the rear of the White cemetery Soldiers from
WWI. WWlI. the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War are
buried there.


Museum for the Preservation of Black History
14858 NE 1039th Street
The town of Waldo was incorporated in 1907 and named after Dr.
Benjamin Waldo. The railroad track was completed from Waldo to
Gainesville in 1859, and from Waldo to Ocala in 1881. Henry Hill
moved to Waldo from North Carolina between 1920 and 1925,
met and married Josie Mitchell in 1926. Their children are still
very involved in the historic preservation of Waldo. Mr. Hill was a
member of Philadelphia Baptist Church and a 33-degree Mason.
He was one of the first African American firemen for the city of
Waldo and also worked on the railroad, feeding coal to the
engine. He donated the land for the Masonic Lodge. Used as a
meeting place for many years, the Lodge building has been
donated to the Concerned Citizens of Waldo. This historically
active group is in the process of preparing this building to become
the Museum for the Preservation of Black History for Waldo. For
more information call (352) 378-1329.

The cemetery where Henry
Hill is buried is north of
Waldo on US 301
and visible from
the highway.
This cemetery
also contains
the gravesites of
veterans from a
variety of wars. Some
of the names have been
documented as servicemen as far
back as the civil war. At least one grave is marked for a serviceman
from the colored infantry.

The Concerned Citizens of Waldo hold special events throughout
the year in celebration of Black heritage, which includes the dis-
play of heritage items, some that date back to the early and mid-
dle 1800's. Among the items are Bibles, artifacts, pictures, farm
tools, kitchen items, clothes, and laundry tools. Juneteenth is a
standard celebration for this African American community. This
festival Is held each year on June 19th at the Community Center.
For more information related to these events contact Mary Ann
Rich, at (352) 468-2336.


Springhill Baptist Church
Sometime during 1923, Springhill Baptist Church was burned
down by the KKK. Many families fled the area in fear of losing
their lives and their property. Before
the church was burned it

located next to the ceme-
tery. Later in 1925 the
church was rebuilt on the
same site with its original
church bell. Rev. S.B. Burk was the
pastor and Peter Colson was the church clerk from
1915-1916:The Colsons were one of the prominent families in
Perry and their original 1925 house is still standing .

Hampton Springs Hotel
U.S. 98 West
The old Hampton Springs hotel was a thriving hotel from
1930-1960. After the hotel fell into disrepair and was closed,
African Americans began to enjoy the sulfur water spring, swim-
ming pool, tennis courts, boat ramps and beautiful grounds. This
site will be renovated and reopened in June of 2004. For more
information contact Melody Cox at
or (850) 838-3500 x 9.

Springhill Cemetery
The historic Springhill Cemetery is located on the corer of
Springhill and Green Streets. The old cemetery is in the woods on
the left side of Green Street, on the right is the new section of the

Jerkins High School
1412 MLK Avenue
This outstanding historical site began as the Spring Hill
Missionary Baptist Church built in 1853 in what was then
known as Rosehead, later named Perry. The seeds of educa-
tion of Blacks in Taylor County are tied to this church, which
has the distinction of being the counties oldest church. Several
school buildings were erected and destroyed by fire before
Henry R. Jerkins, Jr. became the principal of Perry Negro High
School. The worst of the fires followed the 1923 Rosewood
Massacre, which occurred in nearby Levy County. The Building
which housed Jerkins High School was built with Rosenwald
funds and first broke ground in 1931. Minutes from school
board meetings dating back to the late 1880s are housed at
the site.

For more history about the education of African Americans in
the rural south, see the publication produced by the Taylor
County Leadership Council, Inc. available at the site or contact
Mrs. Juanita Monroe at (850) 584-3313.


Richardson High School
210 NE Fronie Street
Richardson High School was built in 1957. The main
structure has been torn down but the portion of the
school that served as the gym and the cafeteria has
been converted to a Community Center. The commem-
orative plaque for the school, a perpetual awards
plaque, and some of the trophies won by the athletics
department are on display at the Community Center.
For more information, contact Toni Griffin at (386)

St James Baptist Church Cemetery
The cemetery is on the grounds of the St. James
Baptist Church which is in the Deep Creek area of
Columbia County. The St. James Baptist Church
Cemetery has the gravesites of many veterans from
WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War.

Niblack Elementary School
837 NE Broadway Avenue
Niblack Elementary School was built in 1954 in an effort
to consolidate elementary schools serving the African
American youth of Columbia County. Because of her
efforts to build, consolidate, and improve schools for
area children, the school was soon named after Mrs.
Minnie Jones Niblack an active force for education who
served as teacher, principal, and county supervisor. The
school is still open today. For more information, contact
Narrie Smith at (386) 755-8200.

Arnett Chapel A.M.S. Church
209 South Duval Street
Organized in 1866, the congregation
is among the oldest in Gadsden
County. The Romanesque
Revival style building was
constructed in 1938-39 and
named for the Rev.
Benjamin W. Arnett, the
Presiding Bishop in Florida
from 1888-1892.

Hardon Building
16 W. Washington Street
Owned by William Hardon, a black man, this was one of
the earliest ice and electric plants in Quincy. Hardon's
small generator was located in the rear of the building,

with the ice plant adjacent to it. In the front of the building
was a bar and in the basement, a dice and card room patron-
ized by some of the town's elite. The masonry vernacular
building, constructed around the turn of the century, is now
an office supply business.

Masonic Lodge
122 South Duval Street
Since 1907, this building has been the Masonic lodge
meeting hall for black Masons. It is a simple, two-story
frame vernacular building with an open hall on the first
floor. It was moved from its original site in 1976 and

William S. Stevens Hospital
Corner of Roberts and Crawford Streets
(Private residence)
Dr. William Spencer Stevens practiced medicine in Quincy
for more than fifty years. His fame spread during the yellow
fever outbreak of 1906 and the influenza epidemic of 1918.
In the years following, Dr. Stevens established a clinic, a hos-
pital, and a drug store. The hospital was located in this
two-story frame vernacular structure.

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Heritage Village
501 NE 1st Avenue
This historic attraction, currently under construction, will con-
tain two houses that were part of the Black residential area
called Cox Quarters. The owner of Cox Quarters was Laura
Cox who is still in Jasper and remembers some of the resi-
dents who lived in "shotgun houses." The Southern Railroad
Station Office now sits on the site where the former Quarters
were located.

The original building of the Colored school was torn down
in 1860 and the structure that is now displayed in the
Village was built in 1941. This
structure, known as the
Spring Branch Baptist
Church, served as
church on Sunday and
as the school Monday -_
through Friday. The -
school held classes for
students in the first
through the twelfth grade;
all thq grades were taught
by the same teacher. The two
gentleman standing in front of the
school are brothers, Alton Mizelle attended during

the thirties and Milton Mizell graduated 1941.

An old cotton gin sits on this site as well and not far away from
it there is an old cane grinder.

The old jail building has records of the last legal hanging east
of the Mississippi. The picture of this 1916 hanging and other
information of that time period can be found in the Jailhouse
museum. Further information is also available on the website at

Although the village will not open for tours until July or August
2004, the Jailhouse museum currently opens from 10AM-3PM
M-F, (386) 792-3950. The big celebration commemorating the
opening of the Village will be in October of 2004. For more infor-
mation regarding the opening of Heritage Village go to or call Shirley Smith at (386)

Blacksmith Shop
604 Hartley Street
Lewis Vaughn was born about 1887. As a young man, his out-
standing skill as a blacksmith, was recognized throughout north
central Florida. He was recruited to come to Jasper to set up
shop in 1910, which was located downtown where the city hall
is now. The Blacksmith shop was moved seven blocks north to
its present location.

Joseph Vaughn, Sr. son of Lewis Vaughn (born 1909) took over
the running of the shop in 1954 and was followed by his son
Edmond Lewis Vaughn who now operates the business as a
welding shop.

Joseph Vaughn was quite a crafts-
man like his father and
made a lot of the tools
that his customers
needed. One of these
tools is still in the fam-
ily and is on display at the
Welding Shop. This tool, (the
Alligator Hook), is an original one whose purpose was to snare
alligators. For information about the Blacksmith Shop, contact
E. Lewis Vaughn (386) 792-2926.

Barfield Working Farm
NW 99th Avenue
The Nobel Barfield Working Farm is about a fourth of its origi-
nal size. Although originally about 800 acres, the now 200-acre
farm has been in continuous use producing such crops as soy-
beans, corn, hay, cotton, peanuts, and tobacco since 1920. The
farm is now operated by Eunice Cross the niece of the original
owner Nobel Barfleld who died around 1967 at the age of 103.
Three generations of the Barfield family have kept the legacy of
this farm alive.

Additional Resources:

Pleasant Street Historic Society
413 NW 4th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601

Alachua County Library District
Heritage Collection


Florida Black Heritage Trail

Florida's Black Militia

Florida Division of Historical Resources

Funded in part by VISIT FLORIDA, Alachua County Board of
County Commissioners, and Visitors and Convention Bureau.
With many thanks to the following people for their talent and ded-
ication; Vivian Filer, Research and photos; Mary Prosen, Design
and Production; and all the wonderful people in the various coun-
ties who gave of their time and stories.
This brochure was a project of the City of Gainesville
Department of Cultural Affairs, Lemuel B. Moore, Director; Coni
Gesualdi, Manager. (352) 334-5064

For more information check our website at


WwyV Gonea




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