Historic Markers Across Florida

Orange City Colored School

Marker ID: FLHM F-929
Location: 200 East Blue Springs Avenue, Orange City, FL
County: Volusia
Coordinates: N 28° 56.508    W 081° 17.791
  28.9418    -81.29651666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMV5NH


Orange City Colored School

(side 1)
The Orange City Colored School was the first building in town constructed for education of African Americans. Before it opened in 1927, various buildings had been adapted for use as classrooms but were small and poorly lighted. Inspired by her progressive values and the needs of the growing black population, Dr. Frances Dickenson donated five acres of land for the school. Funding was provided by the Board of Public Instruction of Volusia County and a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation, which furnished plans and $1,100 to build the four teacher community school. Associated with what is now Tuskegee University, the Rosenwald program was a major force in rural school design, creating models of positive, orderly, and healthy environments for learning. Herman L. Nordman built the masonry structure with large banks of windows according to “Floor Plan No. 400." This school is one of the four Rosenwald Schools built in Volusia County. Historically, the school taught students first through eighth grade, but the upper grades were discontinued in the 1930's, those students who could find transportation attended Orange City School.

(side 2)
The first principal was William King. Early teachers Marian L. Coleman, Eva King, Henry J. King, Pauline Poole, Turie Thornton Small, T.E. Thornton, Rosa E, Williams, and Louis King. Marian Coleman was educated in Jacksonville and attended Edward Waters College and Bethune-Cookman College, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree. Her pay in the 1930's amounted to seventy dollars per month, and her appointment as principal in 1943 brought in another ten dollars monthly. In the early 1960's, the Orange City school was renamed the Marian L. Coleman School in her honor. One of the school's prominent students was Evelyn Wiggins Sharp, who received a Ph.D. from New York University and taught in Volusia County. She was appointed an advisor to the Iranian Ministry of Education for the US. State Department in 1960, and worked in Tehran to raise standards of living, literacy, and agricultural practice. When the school closed in 1969, students were transferred to Deland. The building then served as a community center, reception facility, and a church. In 1984, it housed the Marian L. Coleman Head Start program. The former school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

F- 929 A Florida Heritage Site

Sponsored by The Volusia County Historic Preservation Board,
Village Improvement Association, Orange City Women's Club,
and the Florida Department of State.


More Information:
Wikipedia - Rosenwald School
National Trust for Historic Preservation - Rosenwald Schools, A National Treasure
Wikipedia - Julius Rosenwald
Wikipedia - Booker T. Washington