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JHS 450th exhibit and 15 others honored by Preservation Commission

Jacksonville Historical Society was honored by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission on May 7 for outstanding achievement in heritage education. More specifically, the society was recognized for its June 2014 event and exhibit at City Hall to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the French settlement of La Caroline. The week long exhibit included original artwork […]

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Would you like to be a volunteer docent?

You are invited to become part of the society’s great volunteer team by becoming a docent for the Merrill House History Museum. We are eagerly seeking new guides who can help interpret the turn-of-the-century lifestyle that is showcased in this elaborately decorated family home that also highlights an era of limited electricity and plumbing. With […]

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A. Philip Randolph: Celebrating a Jacksonville Legend

A. Philip Randolph was one of the most influential African American leaders of the twentieth century, and arguably one of the most historically important figures ever to emerge from Jacksonville. An outspoken advocate for equality, Randolph took a leading role in efforts to expose unfair working conditions as well as discrimination in the armed forces; his leadership was critical to the […]

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A Remarkable Gift: Delores Barr Weaver’s grant in perpetuity begins in 2015

Delores Barr Weaver recently announced a remarkable gift to the Jacksonville Historical Society and 19 other area organizations. Beginning in 2015, the society along with the other non-profit groups will receive an annual $10,000 grant in perpetuity. For the Historical Society, the grant punctuates two decades of generous support by Mrs. Weaver. The innovative grant […]

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The glories of a Jacksonville winter…black history month and the physical reminders of the past…

A spectacular North Florida February reminds us of the glories of “wintering” in Jacksonville.  As Jacksonville residents, warm wintery days often take center stage when analyzing area history.  This current February leaves little doubt why Jacksonville at one time was one of nation’s great winter tourist destinations.  While weather records indicate occasional North Florida freezes, […]

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People’s Choice Winners

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea*, inspired by the famous Jules Verne novel, was the far-and-away winner of the People’s Choice award at JHS’s 12th Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza, which concluded December 23, 2014. This was the vote cast by people who attended the Extravaganza and were asked to select their favorite gingerbread house/creation. Built by […]

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A Different Kind of Gingerbread House

This December, as the Jacksonville Historical Society celebrates its 13th annual Gingerbread Extravaganza, we’re reminded of one of the most elaborately decorated homes ever built in Jacksonville—one whose extravagant, exuberant ornamentation surely is deserving of the term “Gingerbread” architecture. When this house was first built in 1872 on (what would become) Riverside Avenue, much of […]

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If you want to be historically accurate this holiday, serve alligator

In the autumn of 1621, in celebration of their first successful corn harvest, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony hunted wildfowl and held a feast that was attended by local members of the Wampanoag Tribe, which contributed five deer. History books and countless American schoolchildren know this communal meal as the famous “First Thanksgiving.” Except that […]

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Is This the Most Famous Photo in Jacksonville History?

It was interesting to watch people’s reactions as they looked up at the photo on the banner hanging outside The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens touting a current exhibit: “Picturing Jacksonville: 150 Years of Photography” back in July 2005. Some people smiled almost sheepishly, as if they had just been told a joke that […]

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In Search of Eartha White

Born in Jacksonville in 1876, Eartha Mary Magdalene White is among the city’s most notable citizens. Highly talented, entrepreneurial and industrious, she delivered crucial social services to North Florida’s black community. Her projects, to name a few, included an old folk’s home, an orphanage, a home for unwed mothers, a WWII USO, and the Clara […]

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