West Ocala's Historic District

    By Florida Division of Historic Resources Staff

    Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church is the only surviving 19th century brick religious structure in Ocala.

    Florida has a rich and diverse history.  African American landmarks and legacies exist in various locations throughout the state. The following historical sites can be found in Marion County.  While some of these sites can be visited, other listings are marked "private" and are not open to the public.

    Fessenden Elementary School

    4200 NW 90th Street
    Established in 1868, the school became Fessenden Academy in honor of Ferdinand Stone Fessenden, a wealthy businessman from Boston who provided financial support and encouraged the American Missionary Association to sponsor the school. Existing buildings date from the Great Depression and 1963 when three new buildings were added to the campus. (352) 671-4935.

    Howard Academy Community Center
    306 NW 7th Avenue
    Howard Academy was established in 1887 by the Board of Public Instruction as a “grade school for Negroes.”
    (352) 629-7082.

    Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church
    623 South Magnolia Avenue
    The only surviving brick 19th century religious structure in Ocala, the present Gothic Revival church stands behind the site of the original white frame building. Construction of the first brick church owned by a black congregation began in 1891 under the supervision of black architect and builder, Levi Alexander, Sr. (352) 622-5500.

    West Ocala Historic District
    Silver Springs Boulevard between Eastbound I-75 and Pine Avenue
    This historic district includes more than 100 buildings that are significant to the African American community that flourished here between 1886 and 1920.

    Adapted from Florida Black Heritage Trail, published by the Florida Department of State, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA, copyright 2007.  For more information on African American sites, please visit flheritage.com.

    Additional information can also be found at: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/milesmedia/floridablackheritage/