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The Courier

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August 2017

Vol. III, Issue III

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~ MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ~

Duval County established August 1822 two months after Jacksonville founded

DuVal

The first territorial Governor of Florida, William Pope Duval.

This month, 195 years ago, Duval County was created. At the time, the town of Jacksonville was already two months old, founded on June 15, 1822. But Jacksonville was not without a county identity at its founding. Clearly, there is more to this story. In fact, less than a year earlier, much of the story is revealed:

When General Andrew Jackson traveled to Pensacola in 1821, to facilitate the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States, he did so at the request of the nation's president, James Monroe. His wife, Rachel, also made the trip. It was not the first time Monroe requested Jackson's services. Reluctantly, the 54 year-old battle-worn soldier, statesman, and plantation owner agreed to "briefly" serve as U.S. Commissioner to the Floridas with all powers of the nascent U.S. government. In this role, Jackson served as the Military Governor of the territories of East and West Florida.

On July 17, 1821, after much tension between Jackson and the Spanish officials, the transfer was sealed, but only after Jackson tossed the Spanish Governor in jail for refusal to provide the documents of a private citizen. Bolstered by bottles of champagne, the Spanish Governor’s friends settled in at the jail for an overnight visit and to taunt Jackson.

With the U.S. government in charge, settlers headed to Florida. In less than three months, likely on October 8, Jackson was gone, returning to his beloved Tennessee. Six months later, on March 30, 1822, President Monroe signed a Congressional act establishing a unified Florida government with an appointed governor, William Pope Duval, and a 13 member Legislative Council. Isaiah Hart, a recent landowner at the Cowford Crossing on the St. Johns, was ready. Hart convinced neighbor John Brady to join with him is giving up land for streets, and the original blocks of Jacksonville were established on June 15, 1822. The street names and city name largely reveal the interwoven history of the youthful U.S. and the new little town.

On the June 15, founding day, only two counties existed in Florida. So, the new town of Jacksonville was located, although briefly, in St. Johns County! On August 12, 1822, two new counties were carved out, Jackson County in honor of Andrew Jackson and Duval County, honoring the first Territorial Governor of Florida, William Pope Duval — creating a total of four counties in Florida.

Looking back 195 years ago and 67 counties later, it was all exciting times for the emerging town of Jacksonville. Looking forward, in the year 2057, the United States will have finally held Florida as long as Spain.

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~HISTORY MATTERS~

The JHS seeks preservation grant for its 1878 St. Luke’s

Old St. Luke s west 1st 2nd and attic floor elevation

Old St. Luke's, 2017.

The Jacksonville Historical Society has applied for a preservation grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources to help restore much of the exterior of its National Register Site, St. Luke’s Hospital on Palmetto Street. If awarded, the grant provides funds to restore parts of the building’s envelope including all porches, railings, columns and many of its windows.

In 2016, during Hurricane Matthew, the building’s relatively new roof provided solid protection, but the building’s envelope and some interior spaces suffered from water intrusion through windows and possibly the brick walls. The storm caused dramatic deterioration to the building’s wood porches and many of its windows. “Fortunately, none of the archival collections were compromised, but interior repairs were required in one of the offices,” said Executive Director Emily Lisska.

In May, the JHS Board agreed to pledge $50,000 in cash and $12,500 in in-kind services toward a major category state matching grant request of $75,500.

Today, the society’s Old St. Luke’s houses archives that include rare images, glass plate negatives, documents, books, film, subject files, objects and much more. The archives are filled with tens of thousands of items used by individuals, the media, government officials and researchers. Users worldwide seek...[Read more...]

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~CONTESTS~

Enter JHS photo contest now!

JHS Photo contest

The Jacksonville Historical Society has launched its first annual photo contest, Jacksonville through the Lens. The contest is generously underwritten by William H. Jeter and Deanne M. Clark and is open to amateur and professional photographers and citizens of Duval County, regardless of age. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and will be announced at a photo exhibit and award evening in the fall of 2017. The contest deadline has been extended to August 22, 2017.

The contest guidelines are as follows:

▪ Up to four (4) high resolution images celebrating our community (Duval County) life through a place, an event, the city’s people, the city’s history and architecture, the area’s social or cultural life or a combination of these categories, including photos of everyday life. The JHS will accept photos taken between August 1, 2016 – August 22, 2017.
▪ JPEG Images must be in a resolution taken between 300 – 600 DPI and/or 1800 x 2400 pixels. You may submit online or by printing out the documents necessary and mailing them to the Jacksonville Historical Archives.
▪ You must submit a contest application, a photo description form for each submission and a release form if identifiable persons/models are located in your submissions.
▪ The purpose of this contest is to document Jacksonville in the 21st century. All images will become part of the permanent collection of the JHS Archives.
Up to four (4) high resolution images celebrating our community (Duval County) life through a place, an event, the city’s people, the city’s history and architecture, the area’s social or cultural life or a combination of these categories, including photos of everyday life. The JHS will accept photos taken between August 1, 2016 – August 22, 2017.
JPEG Images must be in a resolution taken between 300 – 600 DPI and/or 1800 x 2400 pixels. You may submit online or by printing out the documents necessary and mailing them to the Jacksonville Historical Archives.
You must submit a contest application, a photo description form for each submission and a release form if identifiable persons/models are located in your submissions.
The purpose of this contest is to document Jacksonville in the 21st century. All images will become part of the permanent collection of the JHS Archives.

For more information, directions and requirements, please visit the Photo Contest homepage.

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~ TREASURES FROM THE ARCHIVES ~

“Fashion Originals” are on exhibit at Old St. Luke’s

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Editor’s Note: The items pictured here are currently on display at the JHS Archives in Old St. Luke’s. JHS summer intern, Michalla D’Alessandro, worked with the objects collection at the JHS Archives and as part of her internship created several exhibits , including one on the iconic Jacksonville shoe emporium, Joseph La Rose. Michalla will graduate in December from UNF earning a BA in Anthropology with minors in Community Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Business management. The JHS continues to seek La Rose shoes and Archie Eason hats and other mid-20th century local fashions.

Joseph LaRose established one of Jacksonville’s crown jewels, where he showcased, arguably, the most innovative and imaginative footwear of the 20th century. A true visionary and master of his trade, Joe LaRose secured a legacy of creative control and artistic excellence. His contemporary and exotic designs captivated consumer tastes and celebrities alike, with customers ranging from Jacksonville locals to Hollywood’s Joan Crawford. The words, “fashion originals” fittingly appeared on many of his shoes and shoe boxes.

As a boy in Sicily, LaRose ...[Read more...]

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~MEET THE TEAM~

JHS welcomes new president

bliss

Only days after Robert Hennigar was elected 2017-18 JHS President on May 31, a motorcycle accident caused serious damage to his right leg. By mid-July, Bob thought it was best to resign his board position as his ability to get around was limited for the time being. While Bob played a crucial role as chair for the past Gingerbread Extravaganza, as JHS treasurer, and volunteer extraordinaire, JHS board talent runs deep. The newly elected JHS Vice-President Alan Bliss immediately assumed the JHS presidency.

Alan Bliss is founder and principal of River Pilot, LLC, a Jacksonville, Florida firm specializing in historical resource consulting and project management. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida, where his popular U.S. history courses include urban history, maritime history, and a seminar on public history—all emphasizing Jacksonville.

Alan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. His research ...[Read more...]

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~SPEAKER SERIES PROGRAMS~

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Ximenez-Fatio House in the mid-1800s. Ximenez-Fation House Museum Collection.

Daytime Program!

Emerging Florida and the Women Who Changed the World with speaker Susan Caven on Thursday, September 14th at 12pm at Old St. Andrew's, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.

In 1821, when Florida became part of the United States, northerners began traveling to St. Augustine to see the exotic new territory. Margaret Cook, an entrepreneurial widow, purchased the solidly built Ximenez building and operated it as an elegant inn. She was the first of several refined female owners who, with good household management skills, accommodated a sophisticated northern clientele. Speaker Susan Caven will talk about the women associated with the one-time inn, now a museum, who helped create the foundation of the hospitality industry and modern tourism—the backbone of Florida’s economy.

~Historic Properties~

Jacksonville Historical Society's

2017 Most Endangered Properties List

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On June 15, 2017, the Jacksonville Historical Society released its annual “Most Endangered Buildings” list to draw attention to the plight of significant historical structures that are in danger of being lost because of neglect, development pressures and/or demolition. The purpose of selecting the most imperiled structures is to increase the public’s awareness of the need for the preservation of our historic landmarks.

Visit our website to see the full list of the 2017 Most Endangered Buildings.

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City of Jacksonville

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Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Our Mission: Educate and inspire the greater Jacksonville community to value its history, by fostering understanding of how the region’s past shapes our present.

Staff: Emily Lisska, Executive Director | Taryn Rodriguez-Boette, Associate Director & Archivist | Meghan Powell, Office Manager & Archives Assistant | Imani Phillips, Office Assistant | Sherrard Ceglia, Archives Assistant | Jeremy Graf, Archives | Anna Verney, Archives | Ellen Jensen, Event Coordinator |

2016-17 JHS Board Alan Bliss, President | Maggie Means, Secretary | Michael Fackler, Treasurer | Jeff Graf, Immediate Past-President | Pat Andrews | Ed Booth, Jr., Esq. | David Chauncey, Esq. | Judge Gary Flower | Angela Gates | Drew Haramis | Karen Herzog | Larry Kantor, M.D. | Doug Milne | Harry Reagan | Lisa Sheppard | Reecy Thornton | Skip Willbach | Wayne W. Wood, O.D.

 
     
 
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