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North Brevard
Heritage Foundation, Inc.
a non-profit (501c3) organization established April 2005

P.O. Box 653, Titusville, FL 32781-0653


The Clifton School, ca: 1891
Clifton Colored School, Circa 1891. Click for an enlargement
Clifton Colored School House -1890-1891
Prior to building the Clifton schoolhouse, the children of Butler Campbell and Andrew Jackson attended school in the home of a black man by the name of Mr. Mahaffey. In 1890-91, Campbell and Jackson decided it was time to build a proper structure for their nine children. A neighbor, Wade Holmes, provided a one-acre lot as the building site, which was located in the northwest corner of his property adjacent to the Campbell's.

Lumber and building materials bought in Titusville, which were shipped by sailboat to north Merritt Island. Campbell, Jackson, and Holmes built a 12x16 structure of heart pine lumber. Two sets of glass-paned windows were placed opposite each other on the north and south sides. The front of the schoolhouse faced west which was fitted with a double paneled door. The roof was made of cedar or cypress boards. The structure rested on hand cut coquina blocks about one foot off the ground.

The Indian River Advocate newspaper described the "Closing Exercises of the Clifton Colored School" on September 27, 1892. Professor Mahaffey was praised for the high quality of education of his students. The Campbell children included Florida, Eugenia, Agnes, Henry and Willie. The Jackson children were Annie, Mary, Floyd and Douglas who was class Valedictorian. Studies included primary reading, physiology and higher lessons in English, and primary/ advance classes in math.

In 1893, the school year ended in August after the children attended school during the summer months so they could help with grove and fieldwork during the winter growing season. The exams showed proficiency of all students' studies, especially math and Latin. Willie Campbell was class Valedictorian.

By 1910, most of the children were of the age to be out of school or attending school in Titusville or elsewhere, seeking higher education. Eugenia returned in 1926 and later lived in the structure.

When the Government took over North Merritt Island in the 1960's the families relocated to other areas. Most of the structures were demolished, but the little school house was overlooked and was rediscovered in 2004, barely standing.


To Heritage Foundation homepage. To Pritchard House webpages. To Clifton Schoolhouse webpages. To the Gibson Houses webpages. To the Oliver's Camp webpages. To the Hutchinson Barn webpage
To the Ais Indian encampment webpage To the Indian War/Civil War Fort webpage To the Palmetto Hut of Early Settlers webpage To the Cracker House webpage

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