Words from the Founder
The Eatonville Culture and Heritage Foundation Inc. has a commitment to nourish cultural & creative opportunities in the community. We are set to accomplish this by way of visual arts, performing arts, culture, environment, health, human services and community development in the Historic Town of Eatonville.
"At our levels best, it is our duty to sing the praises of the significance of our historic town far and wide. We intend to celebrate the town's total heritage acknowledging its greatness by way of the visual arts, performing arts, culture, environment, health, human services and community development. We have a lot to celebrate and everyone should know about us. We will be that household name synonymous with what is right about a small Black town." -J. Benderson
Incorporated 1887. Newly freed slaves who had come into the area from Georgia, Alabama and further north and the not-yet-incorporated Maitland first settled the town in 1880.These newly freed men labored at clearing land, planting crops and citrus groves, and helping to build houses, hotels and the railroad system. In a few years, some of them became community leaders, businessmen and respected citizens of the newly developed town of Maitland. By 1887, the African-American settlers in Maitland became interested in establishing their own town.
An all-African-American town seems to have initially been a dream of Joseph E. Clarks, but he was unsuccessful in his attempts to purchase land for that purpose.