If you are a native to Jacksonville, it’s fun to do the touristy thing and read all about your beloved city – especially when there are so many cool and fun things to know about Jacksonville.
History Lesson – Historical Facts About Jacksonville
Going really, really far back – thousands of years, in fact – the area known today as Jacksonville has been a well-populated area. We’re talking at least 4500 years, with proof of some of the oldest civilizations in America.
President Andrew Jackson was a celebrated figure in the area that lies on St. Johns River; so celebrated that the town plotted and made official in 1832 named itself after him.
When Jacksonville was ramping up to be an early Miami or Orlando in terms of tourist hotspots in the late 1800s, an outbreak of the dreaded yellow fever cut those glory days unfortunately too short.
Almost 80 years ago, Spanish moss became enemy number one in the Gateway to Florida. What started as one fire in a kitchen, ended in the destruction of almost 150 city blocks. It tops charts as one of the worst disasters in our state’s history.
World War II saw something huge happen in Jacksonville in terms of the US military. Not one, not two, but three naval bases were built to serve our forces. Today, with Kings Bay, GA, so close by, Jacksonville is home to the third-largest military presence in the entire country.
Jacksonville is no stranger to natural disasters, especially the one Florida is most famous for – hurricanes. Starting in 1964 with Hurricane Dora through today, there have been at least four named storms that have wreaked havoc on our lovely, sprawling city.
Speaking of sprawling, one of the most remarkable and interesting facts about The First Coast is its size. An awe-inspiring city comprised of over 874 square miles, Jacksonville reigns supreme today as America’s biggest city as well as the most populated city in the whole of the state of Florida (twelfth in the United States)!
Comradery is celebrated in Jax, and one of the features exemplifies that celebration: the Friendship Fountain. Still, one of the world’s most prominent water features, when it was unveiled in 1965, it was the biggest and tallest throughout the globe. Definitely, a must-see at night with a stunning visual display, the Fountain is certainly a pride of our city.
If you haven’t gone yet, it’s never too late to be one of the one million visitors a year that the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market receives. The largest in Florida, this huge draw to our city is also the oldest in the state, dating back to 1938. You’ll get to experience the unique, the tasty, the cultural, and the savings at this free attraction.
While you’re at the Farmers Market, you might end up picking up a six-pack. While you’re drinking a brew in Jacksonville, tip cheers to the now gone Jax Brewing Company, which inadvertently created what we know today as the six-pack (beer, not muscles).
Have you ever heard of Insta-Burger? We bet you have! Paving the way for fast food innovation in the world of beef patties, the Insta-Burger special oven made its mark in the suburbs of Jacksonville. Still doesn’t ring a bell? That’s ok – it hasn’t been known by Insta-Burger since 1954 and instead is known today as Burger King.
Fake news managed to do a little good in Jacksonville history. Our gorgeous, centuries-old tree, the Treaty Tree, was all set to be cut down in the early part of the 1900s – until a journalist made up some story about a treaty controversy surrounding this lovely oak. With no desire to break an agreement with our Native American friends, the tree still lives on!
The Who’s Who of Jacksonville
Many Civil Rights leaders worked with Franklin Roosevelt on changing the discrimination laws in the United States. One that worked tirelessly to change the hiring landscape for government jobs was a Jacksonville native, A Phillip Randolph. His list of accomplishments is many and proud, including creating The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first labor union for African Americans in the country.
Another Roosevelt has ties to our beautiful city. The Rough Riders, run by Teddy Roosevelt, had in its alumni a man named John T. Alsop, Jr. Working as the city’s mayor spanned a total of 18 years in office!
The 60s gave us some incredible music – the rock scene was transformative and has evolved in the coolest ways since this decade. Helping revolutionize the rock music scene was a band that may sound familiar: the Allman Brothers Band formed in our River City in the late 60s.
Several Jacksonville natives further enriched the rock music scene. Allen Collins and Gary Rossington formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964. The band Limp Bizkit got its rockin’ start here as well. Bands like Everclear and Evanescence wouldn’t have been the same without members born and raised in our Gateway to Florida.
An all-American hero in terms of sports was raised right here in Jacksonville. University of Florida Gators’ golden child, NFL’s Bronco star, minor league’s left fielder, and broadcaster extraordinaire Tim Tebow spent his childhood in Jacksonville.
Florida’s humid and subtropical climate still applies to the northernmost portion of the state, and it shows. With a set of average temps ranging from 64 to 92 degrees, it’s almost shorts weather year-round. Many of the homes in Jacksonville celebrate this warm weather with pools with screen enclosures or screened-in lanais. Concrete homes have become more commonplace in our corner of the country.
These surfaces can all benefit from the use of a thorough soft, pressure, or power wash. Screens get debris stuck. Home facades get grimy. Driveways get slick. SharkProWash cares a great deal about our gorgeous city of Jacksonville and is committed to keeping it a beautiful place to live. Whether you’re looking for gutter cleaning, roof washing, or window cleaning – and more – in Jacksonville, Fleming Island, or Mandarin, SharkProWash does work that makes JAWS drop!