May 2018 Program - Hyde Park Community/Shadeville High School

Post date: Apr 27, 2018 7:46:14 PM

The Historical Society’s program on Tuesday, May 8, 7:00 PM, at the Wakulla County Public Library, will feature the Hyde Park Community and Shadeville High School.  Bossie Hawkins has put together a panel of speakers and this will be a very informative program as we learn more of Wakulla County’s history. 

Thomas Mitchell, a descendant of one of the Hyde Park families and unofficial historian of Hyde Park, will trace the genesis and history of the nearly all-black community from its beginnings well before the Civil War through a detailed in-depth presentation.  He will also answer questions related to this community.


Dr Edith Hargrett Ward, daughter of one of the founding members of Shadeville High School, will talk about her father, Andrew J Hargrett, one of the founding members of the school.  Dr. Ward will also touch on her family’s enviable legacy as educators and their widespread influence.


Graduating its first class in 1934, Shadeville was the Wakulla County’s African-American high school.  The school remained in existence as a high school until the 1966-67 school year.


Several individuals who grew up in the Hyde Park community in the 1940’s and 1950’s will share their experiences in growing up in the nearly all-black community and its lasting impact upon their lives.  They will highlight little-known facts such as the statewide influence of the community during Reconstruction through prominent citizens such as Amos Hargrett who served in several important appointed and elective positions in Wakulla County and as a Wakulla County delegate to the 1885 Florida Constitutional Convention.


Hyde Park still exists as a community today but had its largest population and greatest influence during the period between the two World Wars, to just after WWII.  Just as much of the Old South experienced population losses through large-scale migration northward of African Americans during and following WWII, many of Hyde Park’s residents joined the trek northward.  This led to a sharp decline in population from which Hyde Park never recovered.


This program is free and open to the public.  For more information, please call the Historical Society at (850) 926-1110.