| In the early 1880's
one of Lakeland's first settlements developed on these 35 acres. ( of
the Lakeland Center). Railroad laborers working on the Henry B. Plant
railroad lines and other African-Americans moved here to begin
construction in 1882 on a railroad line from Tampa eastward through
Lakeland to Bartow junction.
In 1884, Lakeland's first African- American Church, St. Johns Baptist, was founded and the city's first black school was established, soon there after, Rev. H.R.Morehead ( ?-1916 ) became pastor of St. Johns Church in 1906. He was an esteemed champion for the rights of his people and it is believed that the Moorehead Community was named in his honor.
This neighborhood experienced rapid growth of homes, churches and businesses that included Lakeland's first African-American physician, Dr. David Simpson ( 1870 - 1955 )
Thousands of African-Americans lived in Moorehead at one time or another until 1971 when they city of Lakeland acquired this land in order to build
The Lakeland Center.