A Guide To Eatonville, FL

A Guide To Eatonville, FL

If you are in the Winter Park/Maitland area, you have probably driven through Eatonville at some point. This suburb in Orlando is one of the most historically rich and unique areas of Orlando. Eatonville was the first incorporated all-black city in the nation. Eatonville is a hidden gem. Use our guide to Eatonville, FL to plan your next day trip or afternoon adventure.

The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts

Eatonville is home of The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. Zora Neale Hurston was an author and, as well as a prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance movement. She is most known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Zora was born in Notasulga, Alabama in 1891 and her family moved to Eatonville when she was three. She has said Eatonville was “home” to her and her “birthplace.” In 1897, her father was elected as mayor of the town. In1902 he became the minister of its largest church – Macedonia Missionary Baptist. Zora lived the rest of her childhood in Eatonville and it sparked her literary spirit. She described her experience in living in Eatonville in her essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”.

The Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts honors Zora as well as providing information on the community and displays the works of artists of African decent. There are quarterly exhibitions that feature the works of emerging and legendary artists. The Zora Neale Hurston trail is continued with the “Dust Tracks Heritage Trail” in Ft. Pierce.

The Zora Festival

The city of Eatonville, FL hosts an annual festival in honor of Zora Neale Hurston. First presented in 1990, the ZORA!® Festival is a multi-day, multi-disciplinary, intergenerational event composed of public talks, museum exhibitions, theatrical productions, arts education programming, and a 3-day Outdoor Festival of the Arts. The event takes place primarily in Eatonville, Florida (10 miles north of Orlando) and throughout Orange County.

Many notable figures have appeared at the ZORA!® Festival including Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Woodie King Jr. and Ruby Lee.

The Moseley House

The Moseley House is the second oldest remaining structure in Eatonville, and it constructed between 1888 and 1889. This structure is directly associated with the decedents of two first-generation Eatonville citizens. These are the Eatonville founder and second mayor Joe Clark and Mrs. Matilda Clark Moseley, niece of Joseph E. Clark, was married to Jim Moseley, son of Sam Moseley. The location is currently a museum. The museum exhibits early Eatonville memorabilia.

St. Lawrence A.M.E. Church

The St. Lawrence A.M.E. Church is one of the oldest historical churches in Eatonville – established in 1882. Additionally, it and it was first named “The African Methodist church”. It was a small building donated by Mr. Lewis H. Lawrence, a man who visited the Maitland area. The St. Lawrence A.M.E. Church has quite a heritage as its history speaks of all the many contributions its members made in the development of Eatonville and the terms of the political, religious and social life.