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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?

Feb
19
Wed
2014
Shopping at its Best: Jacksonville’s Acclaimed Jewish Retail Community
Feb 19 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Shopping at its Best: Jacksonville's Acclaimed Jewish Retail Community @ Old St. Andrews | Jacksonville | Florida | United States

Furchgott’s, Levy’s, French Novelty, Cohen Brothers, and the Vogue Shops were a few of the Jewish retail establishments that dotted Jacksonville’s landscape with fine retail shopping–in some instances, for more than a century. Hear the stories of the families that brought business and style to our city. It’s a fascinating look at  19th and 20th century Jacksonville through the businesses of the city’s most prominent families. Noted experts on Florida history provide the early Jacksonville account, and local families and their descendants involved in some of the businesses are special guests.

Sep
21
Mon
2015
It Came To Pass on the Banks of this River
Sep 21 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - September2015Join the Jacksonville Historical Society and Players by the Sea for a dramatic reading performance of “It Came to Pass on the Banks of this River” by Matt Colaciello with Barbara Colaciello. This is an an adaptation of “NEXT DAY IN THE MORNING” by Kermit Hunter written for Jacksonville’s Ribault Quadricentennial Commission in 1962. That half-century old production was written for Jacksonville’s Ribault Quadricentennial Commission commemorating the Frenchman John Ribault’s arrival at the St. Johns River, a river Ribault called the River May. For the 400th anniversary in 1962, a massive assembly with trumpets and troops filled the city’s “new three million dollar air-conditioned Jacksonville coliseum”. The show ran for 15 days with two performances on Sundays with ticket prices ranging between $1 and $3.50.

The society’s upcoming evening features this early St. Johns River story told through the eyes of some of the world’s most powerful 16th century European women. The production also presents the Florida natives’ perspective and the viewpoint of explorers, Ribault, Laudonnière and Menendez.

The production includes trained actors in a dramatic reading of this uniquely North Florida story. It’s the ultimate story in this Year of the River. The La Caroline Colony on the St. Johns is distinguished as the first colony of European men and women seeking religious freedom on land that became U.S. soil. It is also is the event that set in motion the founding of St. Augustine and more than two centuries of Spanish occupation in Florida.

The Historical Society will host two performances. The first is to begin with a 5:30 pm reception, followed by the production at 6pm. The second performance will begin with a 7:30pm reception and 8pm performance. Please be sure to RSVP to one of the performances by signing up online using the link above or phoning the Historical Society, 904.665.0064.

Cast of Characters:

The Historian: Matthew Colaciello

The French Court
Queen Catherine de Medici:  Barbara Colaciello
King Charles IX:  Joshua Taylor
Admiral de Coligny: Robert Arleigh White
Captain Jean Ribault: David Gile
Captain René de Laudonnière: Jason Collins
Jacques Le Moyne: Joshua Taylor

The Spanish Court
Queen Elizabeth Valois: Rikki Southworth
King Felipe II: Jim Alabiso
Admiral Pedro Menendez:  Robert Arleigh White

The English Court
Queen Elizabeth of England: Hope McMath
Admiral Sir John Hawkins: Jim Alabiso

 The Saturiwa
Chief Saturiwa:  DeWitt Cooper

 

FAQs

What does my ticket get me?

Your ticket is your admission to see the performance at the Jacksonville Historical Society. Harkening back the original admission of Next Day in the Morning in 1962, we welcome your donations of $1 – $3.50 the night of the performance. The Jacksonville Historical Society is a non-profit organization and all donations will support the collection and preservation of Jacksonville history.

What are my parking options getting to the event?

Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House, or park along Duval Street, east of the Merrill House. Security will be on duty.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Your printed reservation ticket is not required, but if you would like to bring it we would be happy to collect/scan them at the door. It will be beneficial to the Historical Society to get an accurate count at the door.

 

This program and the 2015-16 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

It Came To Pass on the Banks of this River
Sep 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - September2015Join the Jacksonville Historical Society and Players by the Sea for a dramatic reading performance of “It Came to Pass on the Banks of this River” by Matt Colaciello with Barbara Colaciello. This is an an adaptation of “NEXT DAY IN THE MORNING” by Kermit Hunter written for Jacksonville’s Ribault Quadricentennial Commission in 1962. That half-century old production was written for Jacksonville’s Ribault Quadricentennial Commission commemorating the Frenchman John Ribault’s arrival at the St. Johns River, a river Ribault called the River May. For the 400th anniversary in 1962, a massive assembly with trumpets and troops filled the city’s “new three million dollar air-conditioned Jacksonville coliseum”. The show ran for 15 days with two performances on Sundays with ticket prices ranging between $1 and $3.50.

The society’s upcoming evening features this early St. Johns River story told through the eyes of some of the world’s most powerful 16th century European women. The production also presents the Florida natives’ perspective and the viewpoint of explorers, Ribault, Laudonnière and Menendez.

The production includes trained actors in a dramatic reading of this uniquely North Florida story. It’s the ultimate story in this Year of the River. The La Caroline Colony on the St. Johns is distinguished as the first colony of European men and women seeking religious freedom on land that became U.S. soil. It is also is the event that set in motion the founding of St. Augustine and more than two centuries of Spanish occupation in Florida.

The Historical Society will host two performances. The first is to begin with a 5:30 pm reception, followed by the production at 6pm. The second performance will begin with a 7:30pm reception and 8pm performance. Please be sure to RSVP to one of the performances by signing up online using the link above or phoning the Historical Society, 904.665.0064.

Cast of Characters:

The Historian: Matthew Colaciello

The French Court
Queen Catherine de Medici:  Barbara Colaciello
King Charles IX:  Joshua Taylor
Admiral de Coligny: Robert Arleigh White
Captain Jean Ribault: David Gile
Captain René de Laudonnière: Jason Collins
Jacques Le Moyne: Joshua Taylor

The Spanish Court
Queen Elizabeth Valois: Rikki Southworth
King Felipe II: Jim Alabiso
Admiral Pedro Menendez:  Robert Arleigh White

The English Court
Queen Elizabeth of England: Hope McMath
Admiral Sir John Hawkins: Jim Alabiso

 The Saturiwa
Chief Saturiwa:  DeWitt Cooper

FAQs

What does my ticket get me?

Your ticket is your admission to see the performance at the Jacksonville Historical Society. Harkening back the original admission of Next Day in the Morning in 1962, we welcome your donations of $1 – $3.50 the night of the performance. The Jacksonville Historical Society is a non-profit organization and all donations will support the collection and preservation of Jacksonville history.

What are my parking options getting to the event?

Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House, or park along Duval Street, east of the Merrill House. Security will be on duty.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Your printed reservation ticket is not required, but if you would like to bring it we would be happy to collect/scan them at the door. It will be beneficial to the Historical Society to get an accurate count at the door.

 

This program and the 2015-16 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

Oct
8
Thu
2015
The Mad Atlas of Virginia King
Oct 8 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

The Mad Atlas of Virginia KingBook Launching and Signing at Old St. Andrews!

The Mad Atlas of Virginia King  by Tim Gilmore

with Hurley Winkler and Kiley Secrest

 

 Listen to Tim Gilmore’s interview with WJCT’s Jessica Palombo as they walk through Riverside and discuss Virginia King.

Virginia King wrote an 8,448-page highly inaccurate book about her hometown of Jacksonville. The title was almost as long. She said her brother was dead. He said he’d never heard of her. Always dirt poor, she called the wealthiest people in the city “my little friends.” From 1915 to 2001, Virginia lived in 18 different residences, mostly in Riverside, and residents who remember her call her a “Riverside character.”

Virginia King in front of the Carnegie Library as the Hayden Burns Library is under construction.

Virginia King in front of the Carnegie Library as the Hayden Burns Library is under construction.

This new nonfiction novel about Virginia King includes reminiscences from local residents Helen Lane, Wayne Wood, Sarah Van Cleve, Pokey Towers Lyerly, Elizabeth Towers, Charlie Towers, Jerry Ferguson, Joel McEachin, and many others. The book celebrates the strange treasures of the Jacksonville Historical Society archives.

The book includes meaningful musings by Hurley Winkler, of Perversion Magazine and Swamp Radio, and hand-drawn maps by Springfield resident and architectural portraitist Kiley Secrest. Though she got so much of Jacksonville’s history wrong, her work touches innumerable aspects of it, and her devotion and commitment are perhaps unmatched. When Reverend Tom Are gave Virginia’s eulogy, he said, “It seems to me that Virginia King served as something of a prophet in our town.”

The reception and book signing will begin at 6:30pm. Dr. Gilmore will present his findings on Jacksonville’s unique character, Virginia King, at 7pm.

Dr. Gilmore is the author of several books, including In Search of Eartha White, Storehouse for the People (2014), Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic (2013) and This Kind of City: Ghost Stories and Psychological Landscapes (2012). He’s the creator of Jax Psycho Geo, which features nearly 250 stories about significant places across Jacksonville, Florida. He teaches Literature and Composition at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

 

This program and the 2015-16 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

Aug
9
Tue
2016
Elvis Has Left the Building
Aug 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The 60th Anniversary of the King at the Florida Theatre1956-FlaThtr-Poster-Aug-320

Elvis performed in Jacksonville many times — once as an opening act for country music singer Hank Snow. But the Elvis appearances everyone still talks about sixty years later were August 10 and 11, 1956, when he headlined at the Florida Theatre. Judge Marion Gooding stood in the wings to insure Presley’s movements excluded hip twisting and grinding. We’ll hear from individuals who were in the audience or involved with the event.

Country music radio pioneer and concert promoter of the day, Marshall Rowland, knew Elvis and will offer firsthand accounts of “the King” in Jacksonville.

We’ll also here the story of Jacksonville’s Landon High English teacher, Mae Axton, who co-wrote the Elvis hit, Heartbreak Hotel.

Elvis is gone, but six decades later, Jacksonville still talks about his memorable local connections.

 

Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House and Old St. Andrew’s, along Duval Street.
Security will be on duty.
Your guests are welcome.
A suggested donation for non-members is $5, students free with proper ID.

 

This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A. Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

Sep
29
Thu
2016
Banned in Jacksonville: What book are you missing?
Sep 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom(OIF), “hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an WH_BannedBooksattempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials”. 275 challenges were recorded nationally during 2015. The OIF staff believes far more challenges occur, however, because reporting is not mandatory in all states.

In the Duval County School System alone, 300 book challenges have been reported from 1978 – 2012. The Jacksonville Public Library reports 70 challenges to materials (books, DVDs, etc.) since 2000.

Leslie Kirkwood, Chair of  Banned: A Community Conversation about Censorship and Free Speech will present crucial history and background and Barbara A. B. Gubbin, Director of Jacksonville Public Library in this important conversation.  The presentation also incorporates performances by Jason Woods, actor/director. The presentation will also highlight the history of the Nazi-era censorship and its relevance today; Banned Books Week; a review of national, local public school and public library challenges; and a discussion of First Amendment rights.

Leslie Kirkwood is is a current chair of Banned: Censorship and Free Speech (a series of public programs—community conversations—that examines the delicate balance between censorship and free speech) and Remembering for the Future Community Holocaust Initiative (an organization that focuses attention on Holocaust education and remembrance through educational resources, teacher training, major exhibitions and community programs.). She is also the Vice-President of Urban Dynamics Corporation, a member of the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library and the former Executive Director of the Jacksonville Public Libraries Foundation.

The reception begins at 6:30pm with the program to follow at 7pm. Both events will be held at Old St. Andrew’s, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House and Old St. Andrew’s, along Duval Street.
Security will be on duty.
Your guests are welcome.
A suggested donation for non-members is $5, students free with proper ID.

This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A. Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

Nov
5
Sat
2016
Jacksonville Genealogical Society Monthly Meeting
Nov 5 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

jgs

Join the Jacksonville Genealogical Society for their regular monthly meeting  on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 1 PM at the Edgewater @ Sunbeam Clubhouse, 4366 Edgewater Crossing Drive, Jacksonville. In order to enter the gated community, use the code #7437. The clubhouse is immediately on the left after entry.

 

Speaker: Robert Scott Davis

Using Federal Records: The Secrets to Finding and Understanding What You Need From a National Archives

Paul will cover this huge topic in just over an hour.  He will give a little historical and geographic context. There will be a key emphasis on internet resources and cover such topics as parish registers and transcripts, newspapers, census records (there were some!) and substitutes, and other resources available to most people from their arm-chair.  The talk will be accompanied by a two-page checklist so that members can follow up at home.

About the speaker:

Robert Scott Davis is the director of the Genealogy Program of Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Alabama. His duties include helping to build one of the South’s most extensive genealogical collections; operating a microfilming facility; teaching genealogy in one of the first colleges to offer genealogy as a college level course; and organizing field trips for his classes to libraries throughout the country. In 2006, this program that he built received the Award for Outstanding Leadership in History from the American Association for State and Local History. Professor Davis also teaches survey courses in geography and history. He has more than 1,000 publications of all sorts and from research he has conducted in archives and libraries throughout the United States, England, and Scotland. Aside from writing history, genealogy, and records, he has also compiled books and articles on methods and materials in research.

Jacksonville Genealogical Society Monthly Meeting
Nov 5 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

jgs

Join the Jacksonville Genealogical Society and the Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society as the co-host a November meeting on Saturday, November 5 at Edgewater at Sunbeam Clubhouse, 4366 Edgewater Crossing Drive, beginning at 1pm. In order to enter, use code #7437 at the gate. Clubhouse is on the left immediately after entry. This is the last monthly meeting of the year.

Speaker: Robert Scott Davis

Using Federal Records: The Secrets to Finding and Understanding What you Need From a National Archives

About the Speaker:

Robert Scott Davis is the director of the Genealogy Program of Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Alabama. His duties include helping to build one of the South’s most extensive genealogical collections; operating a microfilming facility; teaching genealogy in one of the first colleges to offer genealogy as a college level course; and organizing field trips for his classes to libraries throughout the country. In 2006, this program that he built received the Award for Outstanding Leadership in History from the American Association for State and Local History. Professor Davis also teaches survey courses in geography and history. He has more than 1,000 publications of all sorts and from research he has conducted in archives and libraries throughout the United States, England, and Scotland. Aside from writing history, genealogy, and records, he has also compiled books and articles on methods and materials in research.

Feb
3
Mon
2020
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.

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THE JACKSONVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY