Moseley House Museum in Eatonville, FL

Moseley House Museum is a house museum in Eatonville, Orange County, Florida. It is located on East Kennedy Boulevard. Built in 1888, it is the second oldest structure in town, and was restored and opened as a museum in 2000 by Zeta Educational Thespian Association, Inc. It was once owned by Jim and Matilda Clark Moseley. Matilda was the niece of the town’s founder and first mayor, Joseph Clark, and was also Zora Neale Hurston’s best friend. Zora was a frequent visitor of the Moseley House due to being friends with Matilda.

Matilda Clark Moseley was born and raised in Eatonville. She was a Sunday school teacher, church pianist, and community activist. Many considered her a walking historian, because she was an early member of Eatonville’s pioneer family.

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Zora Neale Hurston was not born in Eatonville, but she and her family moved to Eatonville in 1894, where her father was later elected as mayor. In 1904, when she was thirteen, her mother died. A year later her father married again. Her father and stepmother then sent her to a Baptist boarding school out of town. She was dismissed when her parents stopped paying her tuition. In 1917, at the age of 26, she resumed her formal education, completing high school in 1918. She proceeded to college the same year, earning an associate’s degree in 1920. From 1928 to 1932, Charlotte Osgood Mason, a wealthy philanthropist, supported her fieldwork in anthropology and folklore in the south. She established a school for the dramatic arts in 1934, and she wrote her most well-known book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, in 1937. She died of heart disease in 1960.

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Moseley House Museum in Eatonville, FL