III. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 160 M L King Avenue
"The Civil Rights House" - Lincolnville
The southern half of Lincolnville was, in colonial times, a plantation called "Buena Esperanza" (Spanish for "Good Hope"). During the Flagler Era of the 1880s, it was bought by Standard Oil millionaire William Warden and developed as a residential subdivision. One of Warden's investments was the local gas and electric company, whose manager lived in this elegant Victorian house, which originally bore the address of 160 Central Avenue.
In 1954, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in the famous case of Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools had to end. This was a harbinger for the end of the Jim Crow system of discrimination that had prevailed since the end of Reconstruction. Most of the southern states responded by establishing some kind of official state commission to see what could be done to preserve racial segregation as long as possible. Florida's contribution to that was called the Fabisinski Committee, headed by Judge L. L. Fabisinski--who had grown up here in this house in the early years of the twentieth century. Five decades after Judge Fabisinski left, this house became, in 1964, the home of Dr. Robert B. Hayling, the courageous dentist who was the main organizer of the civil rights movement in St. Augustine. For his outstanding leadership, Dr. Hayling has been hailed as "The Father of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
There is no other house in St. Augustine--probably no other house in America--that within its walls has sheltered the two opposite sides of that great conflict that shaped our modern democracy. Thus, it is known as "The Civil Rights House."