Help Save the Zora Neale Hurston House in St. Augustine

Zora Neale Hurston House St. Augustine Florida

The Zora Neale Hurston House in St. Augustine is in danger. 

Hurston, an American author and anthropologist, rented a room in the house on West King Street, while she taught at a nearby school, and she completed her auto-biography Dust Tracks on a Road while she was living there. 

Her most popular novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was published in 1937. She wrote about African American folklore and contemporary issues, and she was a part of the Harlem Renaissance. 

The owner of the house, Johnnie Pasco, recently passed away at the age of 100, and now the house is for sale. 

A sliver of hope has emerged, as the St. Johns County commissioners are considering buying the house and turning it into a museum. 

Please write to them, email them, call them, and ask them to save Zora's house. 

Zora Neale Hurston's voice was suppressed during her lifetime, her stories almost forgotten, and after Zora's death, her grave was lost for years - don't let one of the last remaining buildings connected to Zora get lost as well. 

The below is from the historic marker on West King Street in West Augustine, a predominantly African American part of St. Augustine, Florida.

"Noted author Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) rented a room in this house in 1942. One of the few surviving buildings closely linked with Hurston’s life, it is an example of frame Vernacular construction, with cool, north-facing porches on both floors. The owners frequently rented to female students at nearby Florida Normal and Industrial Institute (now Florida Memorial College in Miami). While living here Hurston taught part time at the Institute and completed her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. Also, she met novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, a St. Augustine resident and author of The Yearling. Earlier in 1927 Hurston married Herbert Sheen, a Chicago medical student, at the St. Johns County Courthouse. Hurston was one of the first to appreciate the significance of Fort Mose north of St. Augustine, the first town settled by free black people in the United States. Her article on Fort Mose appeared in the October, 1927 issue of the Journal of Negro History. During her lifetime Hurston traveled the back roads of Florida collecting folk stories and songs that she used to write musical plays, short stories, and novels."

Zora Neale Hurston House St. Augustine

How to Help

● Please join the Facebook group Save the Hurston House in St. Augustine.

● Please write to the St. Johns County Commissioners urging them to save the Zora Neale Hurston House in St. Augustine. 

● Please share this piece and any of the posts or videos posted in the Save the Hurston House in St.  Augustine FB group. Social media is powerful. 

● Invite your friends and Zora fans from the community and across the country to help us honor Zora's legacy. 

● Urge your friends to join the group and share what Hurston means to them as a post in the group or on their own social media (then share it to the group). Ask them to end their post with a call to action to join the group and/or contact the St. Johns County Commissioners. Here's the link to their contact info.

● If you are not on Facebook, please share what Zora means to you and why the house should be saved on any other social media network or in any other way. 

● If you are a writer, media personality,  influencer, podcaster, historian, teacher, etc., please consider doing a piece about Zora and the Zora Neale Hurston house.

● If you are not on social media, send us your thoughts, and we'll gladly share them on your behalf.

 Please tag @FloridaCoastalConnection, in your post, send it to us on social media, or email a link to, so that we can share your postings as well. 

● Then help share everyone else's stories about Zora and the Zora House, spread the word, amplify their voices, and honor Zora.

● You can learn more about Zora Neale Hurston at this online UF exhibit.

Together we are stronger. Together we can lift up Zora, and together we can make this happen. Let's save this important piece of St. Augustine's and Florida's history.

Zora Neale Hurston House St. Augustine

If you are a writer, influencer, historian, teacher, etc., and you would like to get involved, please reach out. Send an email to floridacoastalconnection(at)gmail(dot)com, or reach out via social media.

Please sign up for the Florida Coastal Connection newsletter and follow us on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and YouTube to help us spread the word about the work we do so that we can help serve you better.