Moss Town

The story of Moss Town actually begins in Levy County, some 70 miles northwest as the crow flies. Before the Cummer Bros. Cypress Company built their new mill at Lacoochee in 1922, they operated a mill at Sumner, where workers lived in two segregated communities. White families lived in Sumner, while black families lived in Rosewood. During the first week of 1923, a racially motivated massacre obliterated the town of Rosewood. This, compounded by the Sumner mill burning in 1927, led many to relocate to the new mill in Lacoochee. Homes for black families were located on the opposite side of the railroad tracks from the mill and company store at Moss Town, and contact between races was limited.

In 1947, Moss Town became the location of William E. Floyd Academy, a four-room black school. A school for blacks already existed, but Rev. Floyd knew there could be a better one and the new school was indeed built and named in his honor. Vera L. Goodwin was appointed the principal, a title she held for all but one of the 23 years the school was open. The school finally closed in 1970, and a long foundation is all that remains.

See Also