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In This Issue**

Old St. Lukes ebyabe with logo

Old St. Luke's Hospital is the location of the JHS Office and Archives

The Jacksonville Historical Society is proud to celebrate its 90th anniversary on May 3, 2019! Ninety years ago, a group of engaged citizens got together at the Hotel Carling to form the Jacksonville Historical Society. The Society was formed twenty eight years after the Great Fire of 1901 with a mission to collect, record, and preserve Jacksonville’s unique history. In the 1947 JHS publication, Papers, Herbert Lamson, Chairman of the inaugural Membership Committee, recounts the formation of the Society. The Society drew more than 200 charter members. Founding members comprised many well-known community leaders, included Eartha M.M. White, Jacksonville’s most prominent African-American humanitarian and philanthropist. Officers for the new Society were:
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. H. H. Buckman
First VP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. F. P. Hamilton
Second VP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. H. M. Corse
Recording Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Miss Anne Graves
Corresponding Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. Clyde Reese
Treasury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Reid Pearson
Chairman, Advisory Council . . . . . . . . . Mr. R. P. Daniel
Chairman, Membership Committee . . . Mr. Herbert Lamson

By 1934, the Jacksonville Historical Society had placed eight markers on historically significant sites in the city, depicted on the map shown here. These formed the nucleus of work that the Society has continued to the present day. The most recent marker, at the site of the Civil War-era Ft. Hatch, just west of downtown, resulted from a collaboration with the Cowford Archaeological Research Society.

Historical markers map 1947 Papers

Herbert Lamson concluded his historical account with an eye to the future: “[I]t is the hope and purpose of the Society to obtain ultimately a building of its own . . . " Neither Mr. Lamson nor the charter officers saw that achieved, but at ninety years of age, the Society indeed has a physical home of its own. The JHS occupies and cares for four historic buildings on the east side of downtown.

1. Old St. Andrew’s Church, ca. 1888, the site of many JHS programs and events;
2. the Merrill Museum House, ca. 1886;
3. Old St. Lukes’ Hospital, ca. 1878;
4. The Florida Casket Company building.

casket factory and old st lukes

Florida Casket Factory and Old St. Luke's Hospital

Today, the old Casket building awaits renovation into archival storage and processing space. With the help of an architectural and engineering team generously contributed by the Haskell Company, we are developing a plan and budget to re-activate the long-unused second floor of the building. This will allow our staff and volunteers to dig in to the work of processing, cataloging and scanning invaluable collections such as designs by some of Jacksonville’s leading architects and the vast Florida Times-Union collection. JHS Archivist Mitch Hemann describes some of our recently received collections in his article below.

Like JHS's founding members ninety years ago, you can help JHS achieve its work through your membership, donation, volunteer skills – or all of the above! To learn more about the exciting projects underway at the Jacksonville Historical Society, contact us at 904-665-0064 or Presentations about the JHS are available – let us know when we may come and speak to your group or host a visit to our historic properties.

Alan Bliss
Executive Director


Jacksonville’s legacy of incredible architecture is something to be celebrated year-round, but it should be recognized even more so during Architecture Week (April 20-28). The Jacksonville Historical Society boasts an extensive collection of architectural material spanning over 100 years and it just keeps growing. In fact, we have recently taken in two very impressive and important donations that deserve highlighting.

The first collection is quite unique and has extensive historical reach. The late Robert C. Broward, a luminary in his own right, had amassed a great deal of research material on Henry Klutho, which culminated into his book, The Architecture of Henry John Klutho; The Prairie School in Jacksonville. This collection features drawings, notes and photographs of Klutho and his family. In addition, the collection includes personal material on the life of Mr. Broward. It is doubly valuable to researchers who have an interest in either of these important Jacksonville figures. We are so grateful to Mr. Broward's daughter, Kristana Broward Barnes, for donating this wonderful collection.

IMG 7609

Kutho drawing of the Bisbee Building, 1909

The second collection is a very recent acquisition. A recipient of the Henry John Klutho Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture, Clyde E. Harris had an illustrious career before passing away at the age of 99 in 2010. By the time he retired at age 87, he had designed more than 1,400 projects that ranged from the Timuquana Country Club to schools, churches, private homes and the State of Florida's original "Welcome" stations. A portion of his immense body of work has been dutifully cared for by his friend and colleague, Richard Skinner. Mr. Skinner has acknowledged the need to preserve this material and, with the family’s permission, has generously donated all of it to the JHS along with a detailed inventory. Once again, we are extremely grateful to receive this collection.

I would like to take this time to acknowledge the generosity of Kristana Broward Barnes, the Broward family, and Richard Skinner & Associates. Their support helps us fulfill our mission to “educate and inspire” this city that we call home, and guarantees the preservation of its rich architectural heritage.

Books on Jacksonville architecture and many other fascinating topics can be found here: Jax History Bookstore

by Mitch Hemann

Bragan Maduro Wolfson 4-25

Peter Bragan Jr., Jose Ramirez, Cristina Maduro, Dennis Wolfson

Author, Jose Ramirez, brought together sixty years and three generations of baseball history April 25 as he shared the story of Cuba and the "Last" Baseball Season. As Mr. Ramirez explained, the end of professional baseball in Cuba is not just a baseball story, "... it is a story of political intrigue, of suffering experienced by people, of painful decisions affecting families, and so much more.”

Mr. Ramirez recounted firsthand the challenges of adolescent immigration, because he immigrated to the US in 1961 in a movement of over 14,000 youth whose families sent them to escape the controls and oppression of the Castro Revolution. As the Castro regime took control of industry, businesses, and personal property, they also disbanded professional baseball in 1961. Mr. Ramirez chronicled the exodus of professional baseball players from Cuban as they sought to pursue their careers in US leagues. A handful of these players comprised the 1962 inaugural Jacksonville Suns team.

Joining the festivities were Peter Bragan Jr., former Jacksonville Suns owner, Dennis Wolfson, the son of Mr. Sam Wolfson who established AAA baseball in Jacksonville in 1962, and Ms. Cristina Maduro, the granddaughter of Bobby Maduro. Mr. Maduro moved the Havana Sugar Kings to Jersey City, NJ in 1961 just before the Bay of Pigs invasion. Within a year, Mr. Wolfson convinced Mr. Maduro to move his team to Jacksonville to become the foundation of the inaugural Jacksonville Suns team.

Mr. Ramirez is a graduate of Bishop Kenny High School. His book is available for purchase on Amazon: Cuba and the “Last” Baseball Season.

Jan 25 2019 IMG 5966

JHS is proud to welcome our new venue management partners, Jade Stanley and Robert Jackson. Jade and Robert have already made their mark on the neighborhood with a busy winter rental season. Jade says the Old St. Andrews property is popular for meetings, events, and weddings due to its convenient location in the Jax Sports District and its historic character.

In addition to Old St. Andrews Church rentals, Jade and Rob also offer event staffing services through their business All About You Staffing.

Jade recently left a 14-year career with a leading financial services company to pursue her passion in the event and hospitality industry. She is a passionate philanthropist who works with several non-profits in the community. In addition to handling event rentals for JHS, Jade will also assist with the Gingerbread Extravaganza and other fundraising events.

Jade's partner, Robert Jackson, recently exited a 36-year career in Corporate HR to enjoy the entrepreneurial side of business. In addition to venue rental, staffing services and event management, Rob also offers wedding officiant services to venue rental couples.

Call Jade or Robert soon to book your event:
Jade Stanley: 904-878-8122
Rob Jackson: 904-878-2241


Our Mission:

To educate and inspire the greater Jacksonville community to value its history, by fostering understanding of how the region's past shapes our present.

Thank you for your support!



Alan Bliss, Ph.D. , Executive Director | Mitch Hemann, Archivist | Susan Prattos, Administrator | Imani Phillips, Archives & Office Assistant | Sherrard Ceglia, Archives Assistant

2018-19 JHS Board

Pat Andrews, President | Michael Fackler, Esq., Vice-President |
Frederick H. Kent III, Esq., Treasurer | Angela Gates, Secretary | Jeff Graf, Immediate Past-President | Ed Booth, Esq. | David Chauncey, Esq. | Judge Gary Flower | Drew Haramis | Larry Kanter, M.D. | Doug Milne, Esq. | Harry Reagan | Reecy Thornton | Skip Willbach | Maggie Means | Wayne W. Wood, O.D., Hon. AIA


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