History In Your Backyard

What makes The Historic Thomas House so special?


Built in 1881, it was created as the first church for the Historic Town of Eatonville. Once it became too small to serve as a house of worship, it was "rolled" across the street. Today it sits as the mirror image of its successor, St. Lawrence A&E Church.

After 1908, the one room building became the town's first library and then some time later, a juke joint. In 1946, my great-grandfather, Stenson Thomas, purchased the property. He and his sons added rooms, electricity, and plumbing. My grandmother raised her family here, as did my mother. This is my childhood home and I want to share all its glory with you. 

The Beginnings of Something New

Spread the word

The New Black & Bookish

In the spirit of Black and Bookish (finding one's self, going home, and celebrating black literature) we're turning the town's oldest building into Historic Eatonville's first bookstore. This site is young but the idea has expanded well beyond me. My family and I decided to create a brick and mortar building to sell books by black authors and provide a space for cultural and community events. Outdoor events are currently happening, and you can go to our events page for more details.

Can you turn an old house into a new home?

Only if you've got good bones and this house is built on a solid foundation- both literally and figuratively. We have immense support behind us and we are thankful every day for this opportunity. We have already began to take steps into our journey of renovations and restoration and you can follow that journey through blog and newsletter updates. 

Ways You Can Support Our Project

Thomas House Etch

1) You can make a straight donation to our Go Fund Me page. We have set our goal for $10,000 for our first phase, the acquisition of an architect and blueprints. 

2) The Longleaf Review is offering expedited submission response of 1 week to budding writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Proof of a $5 donation to the Go Fund Me is needed.

"We’re looking for your best flash & short fiction (300–1000 words & 1500-5000 words), flash & short creative nonfiction (less than 500 words & 1500–3000 words), and poetry (1-5 pieces). Since the response to our Sir David Attenborough themed issue was so positive, we’ve decided Issue 4 will also have an unofficial-official theme: Aliens. Your work doesn’t have to be inspired by this theme for consideration in the issue though." Submissions are due by September 1st. 

3) Purchase Thomas House Merch! Proceeds go to the restoration project and you get cool swag. Mugs and buttons are best purchased through Zazzle. T-shirts and totes are through TeePublic. Mugs say "Historic Thomas House/Built in 1881" on the front and "Eatonville, FL" on the back. Shirts have all the print on the front.