Historic Markers Across Florida

Georgetown and Goldsboro

Marker ID:  
Location: Along Lake Monroe, on Seminole Blvd near Mellonville Ave, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 48.775    W 081° 15.351
  28.81291666    -81.25585
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMK6QT


African Americans were first brought to the Sanford area by slave-holding families settling in the Fort Mellon area during the 1840s. Later in the nineteenth century, Henry Sanford welcomed black residents to his city when it was established in 1870 during the time of Reconstruction. Mr. Sanford attempted to use black laborers in his citrus groves, but was discouraged by the violent reaction of some locals.

In the 1880s, Henry Sanford created the African American neighborhood of Georgetown on the east side of the city. Mr. Sanford was encouraging the rise of a black middle class in the area. Sanford Avenue served as the new neighborhood's main street.

Georgetown's best-known resident, Zora Neale Hurston, wrote her first published novel, Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), while in Sanford. Hurston is famous for her book Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). Later on, Hurston was also part of the Harlem Renaissance while living in New York. She is recognized as the most prolific African American writer of her time. Many of her books are set in small communities like Sanford.
The African American town of Goldsboro, on the west side of the City of Sanford, was incorporated in 1891 and then annexed into the City of Sanford in 1911.

City of Sanford