Florence Villa Training School

Florence Villa Training School (HM1R68)

Location: Winter Haven, FL 33881 Polk County
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Country: United States of America
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N 28° 2.224', W 81° 42.995'

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The Florence Villa Training School for Negroes replaced an earlier African-American school built in 1916 on the corner of 2nd and Palmetto Street. By 1922 the first school was in disrepair and classes were held at the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. Seeing the need for a permanent campus, local white physician Dr. Mary B. Jewett in March 1924 approached the Board of Public Instruction with construction plans and an offer to donate this land. Construction began in August 1924. Funding sources were as follows: Negro donations: $2,000; White donations: $11,000; Ad Valorem Taxes: $5,000; and Julius Rosenwald School Fund: $1,500. When the five-acre campus opened on December 1, 1924 the building consisted of six large classrooms, a Domestic Science Department and an auditorium. Enrollment peaked at 250 students. On the night of January 17th, 1925, a fire destroyed the school and its furnishings. The Florence Villa Town Council offered a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of those responsible, to no avail. This property was returned to Dr. Jewett in May 1925, and an alternate school location was chosen farther to the north.
HM NumberHM1R68
Marker NumberF-675
Year Placed2009
Placed ByThe City of Winter Haven, the Polk County Historical Commission, the Jewett High Alumni Association and the Florida Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 429566 N 3101515
Decimal Degrees28.03706667, -81.71658333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 28° 2.224', W 81° 42.995'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds28° 2' 13.44" N, 81° 42' 59.7" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)813, 863
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 711 Ave O NE, Winter Haven FL 33881, US
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