Top Navigation


Events banner

At the Jacksonville Historical Society, we’re making history every day. Our monthly Speakers Series offers in-depth information on surprising and diverse aspects of our city’s past, and our fun Pop Up events are designed to bring attention to the forgotten history buried in our own back yard. Throughout the year, we also lead countless school groups on “insider tours” of our city’s most significant landmarks and events. Why don’t you join us?

Jacksonville: Florida’s Tourist Mecca and Its Grand Hotels – 1869 to 1926
May 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please note – this event is being held at St. John’s Cathedral, Taliaferro Hall, 256 East Church Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

6:00pm Reception

6:30pm JHS Annual Meeting

6:45pm JHS Announcement of 2019 Endangered Historic Sites

7:00pm Jacksonville: Florida’s Tourist Mecca and Its Grand Hotels – 1869 to 1926

Following the Civil War, Jacksonville became the most attractive winter vacation destination on the nation’s east coast. Throughout America, Jacksonville was known as “The Winter City in a Summer Land.” During the season, the town was filled to capacity with its population doubling. Along with the tourists came great hotels, which were remarkable for their architecture and amenities. Mild winter evenings were filled with orchestra music pouring from the windows of these grand hotels, wafting through streets as visitors promenaded in moonlight.

Well-known historian, civic advocate and JHS board member, Dr. Wayne Wood, will take us on a trip back through time to revisit this amazing era in Jacksonville’s history. Dr. Wood is known for his entertaining insights into Jacksonville’s architecture and history. His program will be heavily illustrated with rarely seen images of the era when our city reigned supreme as the nation’s winter playground. The presentation will also include stories of the large downtown hotels built after the Fire of 1901, such as the Mayflower, George Washington, and Seminole, which still existed until recent decades.

JHS members receive free admissions. Suggested donation of $10 for non-members. Become a JHS member here.

The JHS Speakers Series is underwritten through the generous support of Retina Associates, Fred H. Lambrou, M.D. and H. Alexander Leder, M.D.

Endangered Historic Properties Luncheon
Jun 14 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Join us for this important discussion on our endangered historic properties. Now, more than ever, Jacksonville must chose wisely to protect historic treasures for generations to come.

Dr. Alan Bliss, Executive Director of JHS, will give an in depth evaluation of JHS’s 2019 Endangered Historic Properties and the state of historic preservation in Jacksonville with several experts in this field. DEADLINE TO PURCHASE LUNCH TICKETS IS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12.

The discussion will encompass properties at risk, recent successes, adaptive reuse and best practices in endeavors to preserve our historic treasurers. RESERVATIONS AND TIDBITS LUNCH ORDERS REQUIRED BY Wednesday, June 12.

WHEN: Friday, June 14, 11:30am
WHERE: Old St. Andrews Church, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.
PARKING: Behind church.

Deep Roots, Many Branches: The Blues in Northeast Florida
Jun 27 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2019  6:30pm    Old St. Andrews Church

Join us as Mitch Hemann, musician, singer-songwriter and JHS Archivist unleashes his vocal chords and creativity to pay tribute to the legacy of blues in Northeast Florida. From field hollers to the birth of Southern Rock, Jacksonville has played a pivotal role in the formation of Blues music. Mitch Hemann will be your guide on a musical journey that twists and turns its way through more than 100 years of music history, tracing the origins and the evolution of this truly American art form. This unique presentation will feature a combination of speaking and live musical performance.

Salute to the Jax Red Caps
Jul 13 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Join us as Jacksonville Historical Society and Durkeeville Historical Society share the legacy of the Jax Red Caps and the Negro Baseball League.  Saturday, July 13.
5:00pm – Historical presentation at Old St. Andrews.
6:30pm – Jumbo Shrimp Salute to the Red Caps Game.
Seats reserved in Section 110 along the first baseline. Parking is included in ticket price, and is located in the lots behind Old St. Andrews Church.

Salute to the Jax Red Caps

Touchdown Jacksonville! Winning the NFL Franchise for Jacksonville
Aug 27 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm





More than thirty years ago, Jacksonville’s NFL team existed only in the hopes and dreams of its citizens. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, a changing cast of determined leaders pursued an NFL franchise. The story of that effort, and of the rebuilding of the old Gator Bowl Stadium to NFL standards, will be the topic on August 27, when Preston Haskell speaks at the Jacksonville Historical Society. This Lunch & Learn program covers the runup to the long-awaited day when our Jacksonville Jaguars began major-league play in the River City.

RESERVATIONS FULL.  $15 Member,  $20 Non-member  Tidbits lunch.

Parking is available in the lot behind Old St. Andrews Church.

Merrill House Docent Training
Oct 4 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

If you love historic buildings and telling stories, we need you to help us tell the Merrill Family story!  Docents are needed year-round to lead small-to-medium sized group tours of the two-story 1879 Merrill House. You can regale visitors in the life and times of the James E. Merrill family.  During December, there are frequent requests for tours from Gingerbread Extravaganza visitors.  If you would like to share your time and talent, join us for Docent Training Friday, October 4,  9am – 11am.

20th Annual Pumpkin Run
Oct 27 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Celebrate the 20th Annual Pumpkin Run in your best costume as we run or walk through the beautiful, historic Evergreen Cemetery.  Sponsored again this year by Evergreen Cemetery and 1st Place sports, run proceeds benefit the Jacksonville Historical Society.

Jacksonville Terminal Centennial Celebration
Nov 18 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Guest speaker, Clarence Gooden, will lead this tribute to the legacy of the Jacksonville Terminal.

Reservations requested at Eventbrite.

The History of the Insurance Industry in Jacksonville: Fueling a Financial Center
Jan 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm F. Bryan IV, former President of Independent Life Insurance, will describe the evolution of the insurance industry in Northeast Florida and its lasting impact on the region.

JHS Members receive free admissions to programs.  A donation of $10 per person is suggested for non-members.  Parking is available in the lot behind Old St. Andrews Church.

Florida’s First Historically Black College: 154 Years of Jacksonville’s Edward Waters College
Feb 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Commemorating Black History Month, the Jacksonville Historical Society will present “Florida’s First Historically Black College: 154 Years of Jacksonville’s Edward Waters College” at its February Speaker Series event, Monday, Feb. 3. Social hour 6 p.m., speaker 7 p.m. at the Milne Auditorium on the campus. The talk by Dr. David Jamison will explore how changes over time at Edward Waters also reflected broader social changes occurring over the same time in Jacksonville.

Copyright © 2019 by Jacksonville Historical Society