Eatonville could soon be home to a state Black history museum

EATONVILLE, Fla. — The town is eyeing the historical Hungerford property for its location.


Channel 9 has been reporting on the battle between Orange County Public Schools and an organization working to preserve the town’s history.

In January, Eatonville’s mayor presented this land as an option to the task force responsible for the museum. It is adding the town to the list of 12 other cities and counties across the state that also want it.

The town of Eatonville considers this abandoned property a land of opportunity.

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“Fervently believed that we could use a museum. I don’t know that it needs to be state-run,” said Millar Livatt.

Livatt has lived in Eatonville for 56 years. His dream of a museum is a possible reality.

A Florida Museum of Black History Task Force, created last year, has been searching for a location.

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“The museum would kind of restore some of the faith in the community,” said Pastor Willie C. Barns.

Barns has preached in the community for nearly forty years.

However, the town still does not own the land that the city presented to the state for the museum.

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“That property is a major part of history,” Barns said.

Eatonville is one of 12 other options in the state, but the land is owned by Orange County Schools.

“It’s ideal; it is suitable in being the oldest black corporation in the country,” Barns said.

The school board sent this statement saying in part,” OCPS is interested in contributing the 10 acres requested by the town of Eatonville for the African American museum… our hope is that the current lawsuit by the P.E.C and SPLC restricting the use of the Hungerford property can be resolved so the town and great community don’t miss out.”

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