III. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 10 Hildreth Drive
Fullerwood School - North City
Fullerwood School was built in 1927 and is the only example in St. Augustine of the work of noted architect A. Ten Eyck Brown (1878-1940), famed for his courthouses, banks, and city halls in New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta. His name is on the cornerstone of the building.
Although there had been racially integrated schools in St. Augustine in colonial times, when the public school system was established here after the Civil War it was done on a segregated basis, with separate schools for whites and blacks. Florida even had a law making it illegal to store the textbooks for white and black schools in the same warehouse.
In 1954, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools had to end. It was not until 1963, however, that Fullerwood and Ketterlinus became the first schools here to desegregate. The children of two black families who lived in the North City area, the Brunsons and the Robersons, were admitted to the formerly all-white Fullerwood School.
Opposition to integration was intense. In January 1964 while Charles Brunson, an employee of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, was attending a PTA meeting here, his car was set on fire. In October 1963, an unsuccessful attempt had been made to firebomb the home of the Roberson family. A second attempt in February 1964 succeeded, and today a Freedom Trail marker on Gault Street shows where only the brick steps of the house survive. Bungum Roberson, father of the children who helped break the racial barrier at Fullerwood, was fired from his job at the local Ford dealership in retaliation for his civil rights activities.
Fullerwood closed as an elementary school in the 1980s and later housed St. Johns River Community College and the media center for the county public schools. A teacher training session held here in February 2009 brought many people who had participated in the civil rights movement together to share their experiences with those who will teach future generations.