Historic Markers Across Florida

81 Bridge Street

Marker ID: AFT 
Location: 81 Bridge Street, St. Augustine, FL
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 53.337    W 081° 18.868
  29.88895    -81.31446666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMGB28


This Victorian house in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood (founded by freed slaves after the Civil War) became a civil rights landmark in 1964. It was a gathering place for people in the movement, where they could meet, rest, seek solace, and get something to eat, courtesy of John and Cora Tyson. By day, Mr. and Mrs. Tyson worked the cafeteria at Webster Elementary School. They did extra work during their off-hours to support the campaign against racial discrimination.
Those who enjoyed the Tysons hospitality obliged them by inscribing their names in the family bible. It read like a "Who's Who" of the civil rights movement, including Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, C. T. Vivian, Dora McDonald, Fred Shuttlesworth, Hosea Williams, and others.

To see that the accomplishments and sacrifices of those who marched and sat-in and knelt-in and swam-in and waded-in (and were often beaten and jailed) were properly honored for their role in changing America and inspiring the world, Mrs. Tyson served in the 21st century as vice president of ACCORD (the Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc.).

At a 2008 ceremony at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of their most famous guest, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Tyson remembered how much he enjoyed her iced tea, and told the press that "Dr. King was a Moses."

Sponsored by: Northrop Grumman


This marker is part of the ACCORD Freedom Trail.

For more information:
ACCORD - Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc
NAACP - National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
SCLC - Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Wikipedia - NAACP
Wikipedia - SCLC
Wikipedia - Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wikipedia - Racism
Wikipedia - Racial segregation in the United States