The most vivid period in Floral City’s history is the phosphate boom time, 1890-1915. During that time the vast majority of the hundreds of inhabitants of Floral City were African Americans. 

These residents established commercial, religious and social establishments. One of the few remaining buildings from that period is the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

Located where it was built between 1895-1910, this church building can be found on the north-east corner of Bedford Road and Magnolia Street west of the traffic light on U.S. 41.

This church, along with the Floral City Community Cemetery (formerly known as the Frazier/Williams Cemetery) have another common link. They are the only sites in Citrus County that are listed in the Florida Black Heritage Trail publication. In 1990, the State Legislature established a commission to increase the awareness of the many, contributions made to Florida by African American culture. The booklet was the result.

H.C. Frazier established a cemetery on Great Oaks Drive when he buried his son there in 1908. A well-known individual who is buried there is Arthur Norton (1877-1986), one of the first black settlers to arrive by train, worked in the phosphate mines and remained a resident in Floral City until his death at age 108 years old. The name of the cemetery was changed in 1966 when ownership changed.

During Floral City Heritage Days 2019, Jennifer Clark lead discussions and tours of these sites, She will be the featured speaker for the “Snippet of History” at the Winter Quarterly Meeting of the Floral City Heritage Council. Clark will share her research of the history and heritage of the Floral City black community and her remembrances of growing up in the there.

The public is invited to attend, free of charge, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the Floral City Community House.

The evening begins with a member and guest pitch-in-supper at 7 p.m., followed by the “Snippet of History.”

Co-chairs Laura Hennings and Terri Hartman will call the business meeting to order at 8:15 p.m. and adjourn by 9 p.m.

The Floral City Heritage Hall Museum, developed and operated by the Floral City Heritage Council, is a part of the Citrus County Historical Society, Inc., and is open every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by special appointment. Visit www.floralcityhc.org, email the-fchc@hotmail.com or call 352-419-4257 for more information.

 

Marcia Beasley submits publicity for the FCGC Floral City Garden Club. Visit www.floralcitygardenclub.weebly.com.

 

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