What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Jacksonville? If you are like most people, you think about the city itself and perhaps the beaches. It seems to be a modern mecca for those who are wanting a place to live or for a warm vacation but the fact of the matter is, there are many other things to learn about the city. Here are 5 interesting facts about the history of Jacksonville Florida that will keep you coming back for more.
1. Ancient History – Although there is much that could be said about the recent history of the city and surrounding area, there is something to be said for the ancient history as well. It was thought that the area of Jacksonville was home to the Timucua thousands of years ago, a native American culture that had adapted well to the area’s unique environment.
2. Civil War – During the Civil War, Jacksonville played a large part for the Confederates. As you could imagine, there was a need for food and both cattle and hogs went through Jacksonville on their way out of the state. It was also home to the Battle of Olustee, which was a decisive victory for the Confederacy. It wasn’t fought in Jacksonville but Union soldiers from the area went to the area of Lake City, where the battle was fought. It was considered to be some of the fiercest fighting in the entire war.
3. Yellow Fever – Between the years of 1886 and 1888, Jacksonville was hit hard by the Yellow Fever epidemics. The second one to pass through in 1888 killed over 4,000 people, including the mayor. Although there were quarantines in place, more than half of the city fled the area in panic.
4. Great Fire of 1901 – THe area of downtown Jacksonville was hit hard by one of the largest fires on record. It started when a hot ash from a chimney hit drying moss in the Fiber Factory. By the time the workers got back from lunch, the block was up in flames. Within 8 hours, some 10,000 residents were homeless. Although the damage was severe, there were only 7 deaths reported.
5. Hurricanes – Jacksonville managed to miss most of the major hurricanes but Hurricane Dora caused some widespread damage in 1964. Despite the story, over 20,000 fans showed up to see the Beatles on the next day.