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Sun, 03.17.1889

The Hungerford School, (Florida) Opens

the Hungerford School

*The Hungerford School’s establishment in 1889 is celebrated on this date. Modeled after Alabama's Tuskegee Institute, the Eatonville, Florida school was named after Dr. Robert Hungerford, a white physician living in Maitland, Florida who had been teaching reading and writing to local black men.

A young couple, Russell and Mary Calhoun, founded the Hungerford School; Russell Calhoun was a Tuskegee graduate.  After Robert Hungerford died of typhoid fever in 1888, his son gave Calhoun 40 acres for a new school for Blacks. The school's purpose was to educate African American boys and girls (through 12th grade), with a curriculum of literacy, vocational, and life skills.

Students lived on campus, and were assigned jobs. The school's campus included dairy, chicken coops, gardens, classrooms, boy's and girl's dormitories, and a manual arts building. Classes were taught in blacksmiths, agriculture, carpentry, dressmaking, cooking, and housekeeping.  As the twentieth century progressed, classes in technical subjects such as mechanical drawing and radio were added.

In 1950, the Hungerford School became a public school administered by the Orange County School Board. Old campus buildings were replaced. Today, the school still occupies a large parcel of land in Eatonville, just on the east side of I-4. Hungerford closed in 2009 due to budget cuts.

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