Friday, September 26, 2008

Citrus Park Colored School

Tucked away just off Gunn Highway in northwest Hillsborough County, an area now more known for estate homes, is an old, one-room school house. The Citrus Park Colored School was built in the 1920s by and for the African-American community in the Keystone-Odessa-Citrus Park area on land donated by Mrs. Barbara Allen. Rev. Charlie Walker spent many hours at the county school board's offices urging them to open this school, until they agreed to supply the materials. The families served by the school provided the labor and construction know-how to actually build the school. Citrus Park Colored School served up to thirty students at a time until it closed in 1948. Since then, the old school building has been used by the Mount Pleasant AME Church. The Citrus Park Colored School is a designated Hillsborough County Historic Landmark.

"A Shared and Pleasant History" from the Tampa Tribune

For further reading:

"'The Most Well Utilized the United States:' Citrus Park Colored School," by Geoffrey Mohlman. Sunland Tribune (1999) Volume 25, Number 1, pages 77 - 96.


  1. I went to elementary school at Citrus Park, and it had a little red school house next door to it. I'm not sure if this was it or not. It was a long time ago and I'm not sure I would recognize it. If it's next door to the current elementary school, then it's the right one!

  2. The Little Red School House is still there next to Citrus Park Elementary, and it's a designated county historic landmark as well. I'll try to get a photo of it to put up here -- it's not far from my office. It was originally painted white, and was for the white students in the days before desegregation. You might not recognize Citrus Park Elementary anymore -- it's had some additions, including a new middle school behind it that opened this fall.


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