Historic Markers Across Florida

Historic Pughsville Neighborhood

Marker ID: FLHM F-605
Location: O Ave SE at US 17, Winter Haven, Florida
County: Polk
Coordinates: N 28° 00.451    W 081° 43.832
  28.00751666    -81.73053333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMN50V


Marker # 2: Pughsville was one of Winter Haven's earliest neighborhoods, populated predominately by African Americans. These individuals cleared land and settled in what is now the southeast section of the city. For many decades, Pughsville remained a vibrant and thriving community. Pughsville was named in honor of one of the earliest black pioneers, the Reverend Charles Pugh, who was one of the founders of one of the oldest black churches in Pughsville, Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church. Pughsville boasted three other churches: Bethel A.M.E., St. Paul Holiness, and Church of Christ. During the peak of its existence (1900s -- 1950s), Pughsville had an African-American school, social halls, small grocery stores and restaurants. Many residents worked in the citrus industry, but others were restaurant owners, business professionals, educators, construction workers and domestic workers. Still others worked in local, state and federal government jobs. Pughsville produced Winter Haven's first African-American commissioner, medical doctor, mayor, fire fighter and postal worker. The original Pughsville began to decline during the late 1970s as larger commercial establishments began arriving in the area, driving up property values.

By the City of Winter Haven, the Polk County Commission,
and the Florida Department of State


City: Wnter Haven, FL