Created By: Hannibal Square Heritage Center
This marker denotes the former location of the Hannibal Square Elementary School, the first public school for African America children in Winter Park. The school was founded in 1883, after which a new facility was established by Loring Chase. S. A. Williams served as its principal. This new building faced Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1926, the school was expanded into a six room block structure on the north side of West New England Avenue, and accomodated first through eighth grade.
Following the incorporation vote of 1887, Hannibal Square remained part of Winter Park until 1893, when a group of white residents petitioned the Florida Legislature to nullify the vote. Winter Park was subsequently re-incorporated, but with Hannibal Square outside of the town's limits.
After de-annexation, the town council offered Black citizens the option to use the facility as a school house, but would charge $25 for the school term. After this offer was declined, the town solicitor concluded that since the school now existed outside the town limits, the decision was under the jurisdiction of the Orange County Board of Public Instruction for Black Educators, who made the school available to the neighborhood.
Hannibal Square was finally re-annexed into Winter Park in the 1920's to increase the town's population, allowing it to be officially designated a city.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Hannibal Square Heritage Center Tour