Top Navigation


Connect with History: News from JHS
Surveying the fire damage

The Day the Town Burned Down—115 Years Ago Today

It was Friday, May 3, 1901, and not much was happening in Florida’s largest city, population 28,000.  In fact, the news was achingly dull with a repeat weather report weeks old—hot and dry. Reporters were in search of a story.  By day’s end, the story of the century would be delivered to their doorstep. Meanwhile, […]

With the aid of a strong westerly wind, the fire soon consumed the shanties that surrounded the factory, and the burning debris jumped along hundreds of wood-shingled rooftops that were already dangerously dry after a prolonged drought.

115 Years After the Great Fire . . .

Pre-fire buildings and post-fire masterpieces are still threatened May 3 is arguably the most important day in city history. It’s the anniversary of Jacksonville’s Great Fire of 1901. This year, Jacksonville marks 115 years since the conflagration wiped out 2,368 homes and buildings in eight hours. The fire began in the LaVilla area and rapidly […]

Dr. Hanna, Mrs. Kathryn Abbey Hanna and Governor Caldwell on March 20, 1948. Photo credit: State Archives of Florida.

Kathryn Abbey Hanna: Florida’s Forgotten Environmental Historian

by Danielle Kendrick Editor’s Note: Danielle Kendrick is a former JHS intern pursuing a master’s degree in history at University of North Florida. Her article gives us a glimpse at Kathryn Abbey Hanna as “Florida’s Forgotten Environmentalist.” Dr. Kathryn Abbey Hanna is the namesake of a Jacksonville city park, yet many people who visit the […]

mcdonald's gingerbread

Calling all builders, bakers and gingerbread makers

The Historical Society’s beloved Gingerbread Extravaganza is returning December 2nd, and we need gingerbread builders! Often called the “most creative art show in Jacksonville,” the Gingerbread Extravaganza is visted by thousands of visitors during its three-week run, and showcases fantastical gingerbread and confection creations by amateurs and professionals alike. Participating in this wonderful  event is a sure-fire way […]