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LOCAL HISTORY >> ROSEWOOD

HOPE PREVAILS

DESCENDANT LIZZIE ROBINSON JENKINS PRESERVES HISTORY

Remembering Rosewood STORY A N D PHOTOGR A PH Y BY PEGGY M ACDONA LD

Lizzie Robinson Jenkins walks down a dirt road lined with majestic live oaks near the 40-acre parcel her grandfather, Rev. Charlie Louis Brown Sr. purchased in 1904. She said her grandfather planted the trees to delineate the property lines on this farmland in tiny Archer, located in southwest Alachua County. The trees now form an impressive canopy that provides dense pockets of shade even on the hottest Florida day. Aside from the trees, the land looks much as it did over a century ago. The sounds of roosters crowing and donkeys braying remind visitors that they are in the country. Jenkins hopes to transform her grandfather’s property into an educational farm and community center to offer Archer students firsthand experiences with farm life. She grew up on her parents’ farm nearby. “I can’t live in a city,” Jenkins reflected. “I like space. It’s 30 |

OUR TOWN MAGAZINE

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

part of who I am.” Family is another important part of who Lizzie Jenkins is. Her aunt, Mahulda “Gussie” Brown Carrier, was born in Archer in 1894 and married Aaron Carrier in 1917. Gussie and Aaron Carrier survived the tragedy at Rosewood in January 1923 and changed their last name to Carroll. Out of concern for their safety, they moved at least 15 times after the incident. Gussie lived in fear until her death in Tampa in 1948, according to her niece. During an interview at her home in November, Jenkins shared her family’s history of Rosewood. “This story has been told many ways,” she explained. “This is how my aunt told it.”

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