What Are The Most Notable Historical Locations In Jacksonville, Florida?
Situated on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Jacksonville is a booming, vibrant, and the largest city in the state. The city is in the middle of a region that is not only an economic hub, but also a region that is rich in historical locations and history.
The Kingsley Plantation House
Once the Spanish gained control of the region, they began to establish forts, missions, and farms in the Jacksonville area. The Kingsley Plantation House, the oldest in the state, was built in this era and is thought to date back to the late 1790s.
During this ‘American Territorial Era’, that began in 1821, the plantation was the home of Zephaniah Kingsley, and his wife Anna. Anna was a free African. Although Kingsley owned slaves, he strongly believed in civil rights for the blacks who were free in Florida. In fact, Kingsley was one of the most outspoken opponents against the ‘Black Codes’ in the territory. Ultimately, he became so distressed, he relocated his slaves and his family to Haiti.
Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park
By 1861, Jacksonville had started to emerge as a major port city, and this was the same time when the war broke out between the South and the North. As a result, the Confederate Army placed a strong emphasis on protecting the city and its port by erecting strong fortifications to control the St. Johns River’s mouth.
Overgrown relics of these forts can still be seen within the Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park.
Timucuan Ecological And Historic Preserve
Long before the Spanish and English settlers arrived, the area supported an enormous Native American Indian population in the pre-historic era. The wide estuary of the St. Johns River was able to provide the Native Americans with a rich supply of food like shellfish, fish, edible sea plants and animals.
The shell mounds and middens that these natives left behind can still be seen throughout Jacksonville, especially in the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
This park is a national historical site, and its name is taken directly from the Timucuan Indians. They were already in the area when the first European settlers first arrived. It covers a 46,000-acre area of protected delicate environmental lands that are dotted with several numerous historic sites.
There are several points of interests located within the reserve including the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the Ribault Monument. These are both landmarks that are associated with the traumatic but brief French effort to develop and settle in the land around the St. Johns River.
Ribault Monument is a replica of the monument that was placed there originally by French explorer, Jean Ribault. Fort Caroline was erected in 1564 by the French, but the Spanish took control of it after a bloody attack in 1565.
There are numerous other notable historical sites located in Jacksonville. As the most progressive and largest city in Florida, it is only a 30-minute drive north of the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine. The city also serves as an island gateway to the northeastern coast of Florida.