Author: JHS

  • A Life Lost to Save a Mother’s Painting  

    The great fire on May 3, 1901 in Jacksonville is a story of devastation, fear, loss, struggles and determination by city leaders to help the citizens survive and rebuild a better city. There are many stories about the people who survived and some who did not survive. One such story is that of Henry Bounetheau,…

  • Jacksonville History Matters

    “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” That catchy little quote is ascribed to author and artist Mary Engelbreit. It suggests that thinking about the past is a waste of time, because what’s in the past is beyond our ability to affect. That sounds sensible enough. Lamenting what might have been, or wishing to…

  • Women’s History Month: Who Opened St. Luke’s Hospital? 

    Women’s History Month: Who Opened St. Luke’s Hospital? 

    At 314 Palmetto Street, in Downtown Jacksonville, sits the office and archive building for the Jacksonville History Center. Staff, interns and volunteers at the Center have the pleasure of working in the first building designed in Florida to serve as a modern hospital. Old St. Luke’s Hospital was built in 1878, but the organization has…

  • Jacksonville’s Unique Place in Black History

    Jacksonville’s Unique Place in Black History

    During this Black History Month of 2024, the Brentwood branch of the Jacksonville Public Library is displaying a traveling poster exhibition titled “A Place for All People,” provided by the Smithsonian Institution. This poster series is an invitation to Americans to visit the newest of the Smithsonian’s museums, the National Museum of African American History…

  • What History Is … and Is Not

    What History Is … and Is Not

    The City of Jacksonville’s recent removal of another memorial to the Confederacy from a city park has made the idea of “protecting history” a lively topic [again]. Of course, anything that gets people talking about history can’t be all bad, so historians welcome the conversation. To historians, though, fear of the “destruction of history” is…

  • 21st Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza People’s Choice Winner

    21st Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza People’s Choice Winner

    More than 3,200 visitors to the 21st Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza at Old St. Andrew’s Church chose the winner of the People’s Choice display. The votes were so close, just 100 or so apart, and the winner is “Santa’s Enchanted Airline” by Team Duncan’s Dough Nuts, a fourth year builder. Congratulations to all our builders and…

  • What’s so hard about historic preservation?

    What’s so hard about historic preservation?

    Why are historic preservation projects so difficult and expensive? The most obvious answer is that architects, engineers, and contractors cannot see and never really know for sure what is within the floors, walls, and ceilings of an old building until they get into the project. When designing and building a new structure, every detail is…

  • 3 Reasons Why History Changes

    3 Reasons Why History Changes

    The events of the past don’t change, but the way we understand those events does. In other words, the past is past, but history is constantly unfolding. There are a few reasons why history changes. The first and most obvious is that new facts emerge. The people and forces that affect events are often unknown…

  • Why the Jacksonville History Center?

    Why the Jacksonville History Center?

    Florida’s largest city, at 201 years old, lacks a public history center. All of Jacksonville’s peer cities do far more with representing their local past than we do in Jacksonville, even though Jacksonville has more (and more interesting) history than any of them. Trying to explain why that is so makes for lively conversations that…

  • Will LaVilla be Jacksonville’s Ybor City?

    Will LaVilla be Jacksonville’s Ybor City?

    Incorporated in 1869, the neighborhood known as LaVilla was annexed by the City of Jacksonville in 1887 and thrived into the early decades of the 20th century as the setting of Jacksonville’s richest multi-cultural, multi-ethnic life.

THE JACKSONVILLE HISTORY CENTER