Limited-edition Bicentennial Commemorative Coin, on sale for a limited time!
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During the epochal period of 1876-1886, Jacksonville was known as the “Winter City in Summerland.” It was usual for the total number of tourists per season to be printed using the hotel registers and larger boarding houses as the basis for the compilation.
How much history can a city accumulate in 200 years? A lot, and Jacksonville has more, and more interesting history, than any place in Florida. Compared to our peer cities though, we seem less concerned with our civic inheritance. Why that is so makes for a lively conversation about Jacksonville’s identity. Whether it’s to explain a place or a person, the past is always where we look. Every city is unique, but Jacksonville stands out for its beauty combined with grittiness, its imposing size contrasted with its small-city feel, its serious problems balanced against its undeniable promise.
One of Jacksonville’s earliest ethnic migrations can be traced to pioneer Philip Dzialynski, who arrived in the city in 1850 at the age of 17 and was its first Jewish entrepreneur. This was the first step of Jewish families relocating and later being involved in city commerce and affecting the local community. In fact, before the 1930s, Jacksonville’s Jewish population was the largest in Florida.
As we celebrate the Jacksonville Bicentennial June 11, 2022, it can be hard to imagine what Jacksonville was like in 1822. So many inventions have been developed during those two centuries to help us live an easier and more convenient way of life. One of those conveniences that changed the world was definitely the telephone.
The Great Fire of 1901 led to a wholesale reinvention of Jacksonville, fostered by an influx of talented, innovative architects and builders eager to make their mark on what the fire had left as a blank urban canvas.
At 200 years old this year, Jacksonville retains very little of the built environment as it existed in 1822. For much of Jacksonville’s first 79 years of existence, development took place using timber construction. Consequently, the devastation of the Great Fire of 1901 created a clean slate on which to design and build a new downtown.
Every citizen of Jacksonville has the opportunity to contribute to a lasting marker commemorating Jacksonville’s Bicentennial. Don’t be left out!
How will you commemorate 200 years? Celebrating the Jacksonville Bicentennial in 2022 will take many shapes and forms.
In light of the City’s upcoming Bicentennial anniversary, the Jacksonville Historical Society has been increasingly mindful that we are the stewards of Jacksonville’s future.