On this site stood a Rosenwald School. Educator Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) enlisted philanthropist and CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Company, Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) to help fund the building of rural community schools for African American children. Between 1912 and 1932, Washington and Rosenwald collaborated to build 5,357 schools and buildings in fifteen states throughout the Jim Crow South.
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A delegation of Lake Alfred Arican American citizens petitioned the Polk County Board of Public Instruction to erect a school for their children. Permission was granted and the Fruitlands Institute opened in 1929, named for the local real estate company which donated the land. The school was a Two-Teacher Type funded by African Americans $600, Whites $350, Public $1836, Rosenwald $500. The school was taken down in 1964.