The Thomas House Project

The Historic Thomas House



Antoinette’s Cultural Story

As many of you know, I am a daughter of Eatonville. I grew up in the oldest structure built in the oldest incorporated Black town.

Built in 1881 as the town’s first church, it became too small for the congregation and was rolled across the street to make room for a larger church. There it was turned into the first library in Eatonville. 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.

This home has always been a special place of learning and knowledge. It has never been without books and with your help, my family and I are turning this beloved home into Eatonville's first bookstore.

Following in the legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, our bookstore would be filled with books focused on the lives and stories of people from the African Diaspora. We would also be creating a space for the local artists to share that creations with the public, through music, art, dance, and literature.

The posts below share the ups and downs my family faces as we work to restore this property.

-Antoinette, Founder of Black & Bookish



In the summer of 2017, we went into the house for the first time in years. It was my first time back inside since college in 2006. Check out this lovely introduction to the house and the feeling of starting something new. And use the button to donate to our Go Fund Me page.

As pillar of the Historic Eatonville, FL community, the revitalization of the Thomas House is a community supported effort. It will be the first bookstore within city limits and will provide community events such as:

  • Book Clubs

  • Reading and Writing Programs for All Ages

  • Art and Music Events

  • Cooking Classes

  • Movie Nights

  • Community Meeting House for Other Organizations


Are you a Historic Preservationist, Architect, or Contractor? Want to be on the ground floor as we build this amazing project?

Email me at with your company info and expertise.