Groveland Four

Tavares – A monument dedicated to the Groveland Four will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 on the lawn of the Lake County Historic Courthouse.

The public is invited to join Groveland Four family members, community leaders and elected officials for the ceremony. Gary Corsair and Gilbert King, who have written about the Groveland Four in detail, will be in attendance to share remarks. State Rep. Geraldine Thompson will also speak at the event.

The monument honors the four men known as the Groveland Four — Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas — who, in 1949, were wrongfully accused of crimes in Groveland, Florida. In January 2019, the men were posthumously pardoned by the Florida Clemency Board, which noted that their convictions and treatment was a “miscarriage of justice.”

“While we cannot change the past, we can learn from it, and we can assure that our institutions today provide equal and fair justice to all,” said Lake County Commission Chairman Leslie Campione.

The granite memorial will feature a bronze plaque imprinted with a written account of the men’s ordeal, which was prepared with the help of their families.

Public parking will be available in the parking garage at the intersection of Sinclair Avenue and Maude Street in Tavares. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Feb. 20, West Main Street will be closed from Sinclair Avenue to Texas Avenue and will reopen following the event. During the closure, southbound pickup will be available for LakeXpress transit patrons at stop LX11161, located at West Main Street and North Rockingham Avenue in lieu of stop LX11157, located at West Main Street and Texas Avenue.