Historic Markers Across Florida

Ehren African American Community/Mount Carmel Church And Cemetery

Marker ID:  
Location: On the Ehren Cutoff, Land O Lakes, FL
County: Pasco
Coordinates: N 28° 16.313    W 082° 26.537
  28.27188333    -82.44228333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMGYRT


Ehren African American Community

The Ehren Pine Company sawmill employed a large number of local African Americans, many of whom lived in company housing. Others worked in agriculture and for the railroad.

Serving the spiritual needs of that population were Mount Carmel A.M.E. Church and also Oak Grove Baptist Church, which was located nearby on Ehren Cemetery Road. Reverend Joe Bowen served as one of the pastors of the Oak Grove congregation before it disbanded in the 1940s.

The Oak Grove Church also served as a school and B.H. McMorris was a teacher and George Members was supervisor in 1901. Part of the church property was deeded to the Pasco County Board of Public Instruction in 1927 for the purpose of building a school. Frank Phillips and L.G. Bowen were appointed school trustees.

After the sawmill burned in 1920, many residents moved away. Some residents remained and worked in Drexel and Odessa and other nearby communities.

Ehren Mount Carmel Church And Cemetery

Serving the local African American community, this was the site of Mount Carmel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a wooden structure. An early pastor was Reverend Byrel Dawkins. The congregation folded sometime after the Great Depression and members joined other local churches.

There are many unmarked graves here and the date of the first burial is unknown. Although it is believed that the cemetery dates back to the mid-1800s, the first marked grave is 1903 and the latest is 1954.

In 2006, the Pasco County Black Caucus, in cooperation with the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners and other concerned individuals, initiated efforts to provide recognition and perpetual care of this site.

The Pasco Board of County Commissioners, The Pasco Historical Preservation Committee and Connerton Community Council, Inc