Paradise Park

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Paradise Park brochure.

Florida's invitation to tourism in the 1950's was, unfortunately, not extended to persons of all races on the same terms. As part of the Jim Crow South prior to the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960's, Florida's major attractions and beaches were, by and large, for whites only, by practice or by law, with black tourists and locals segregated to separate places like Dade County's Virginia Beach, Amelia Island's American Beach, or other areas that offered alternative facilities.

In 1949 Florida's Silver Springs established Paradise Park, a, as the brochure pictured here puts it, section for "colored people only" at a separate bank of the river southeast of the main dock area. Here was a bathing area and dock for glass bottom boats where black visitors could enjoy the springs without interracial mingling.

Eventually, Paradise Park was closed as Silver Spring's main park was integrated, now welcoming visitors of all races. Today the former Paradise Park boat dock cove remains as the animal rehabilitation station on the Lost River voyage.

Return To Florida's Lost Tourist Attractions

Brochure image from the author's collection.

This site Copyright (c) 1997-2011 by Robert H. Brown