The Courier October 2015Vol. I, Issue VIII ~ MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR ~ Fall is here along with a wealth of history events and sponsor opportunit


The Courier


October 2015

Vol. I, Issue VIII




Fall is here along with a wealth of history events and sponsor opportunities

At the Jacksonville Historical Society, we always know when fall arrives. Of course, our buildings are literally surrounded by football games and parking. And for the past 16 years we’ve staffed the water tables at the popular October Pumpkin Run at Evergreen Cemetery. The 5K and 10K run through the historic property continues to grow. It’s an interesting way to promote history and gets us all in the mood for our active fall and winter schedule.

Clearly, the society’s BIG end of the year event is the Gingerbread Extravaganza. The event at our headquarters, Old St. Andrew’s, showcases history and “the most creative art in town” from December 2 through December 23, everyday, except Sunday. The Extravaganza serves as the society’s only major fundraiser. Without the Extravaganza, we’d have great difficulty paying the bills. Please consider sponsoring the event at some level. We ask you to attend the Extravaganza and talk up the event among your friends and family. The event offers exciting additions this year that you’ll read about in the November newsletter.

Another opportunity is the Friday evening December 4 open house at Avonlea Antique Mall. Mall owners have once again selected the Jacksonville Historical Society as recipient of proceeds for their tombola game. For the game, all types of bottles, bottled products, vases, decanters and jars are featured. We’re collecting your vintage and gently used glass jars and bottled objects for use as prizes in this obscure English game. The JHS get the proceeds. Please bring your donations (several hundred are needed so don’t hold back) to the November program or give us a call and we’ll try to “pick-up.”

We haven’t forgotten the popular speaker series. On November 17, Stephen Dare presents “The Ten Most Amazing Jacksonville People You’ve Likely Never Heard of.” I hope to see you there.




History, Mystery & Beer

DON'T MISS the next spectacular and fun historical pop-up event Tuesday, November 3 at 6pm -8pm! Stay tuned to the Facebook page for the location announcement on (5 minutes from Downtown Jacksonville) October 31st!

Several times a year, the Jacksonville Historical Society stages a “pop-up history” event. These events combine the element of mystery, surprise, beer drinking, and social media to educate the public about important but relatively unknown facets of Jacksonville’s history. Although the time and date of each of these pop-up events are announced ahead of time and people are urged to sign up for it, the location is kept secret until a few days before the event takes place. Please visit the Jax Pop-up History Facebook Page for more information.

Admission is free, but a donation of $5 to the Jacksonville Historical Society is suggested at the door.

This event is a joint production of the Jacksonville Historical Society and PB&J (Party, Benefit & Jam).




October Pumpkin Run Volunteers were a terrific “team” and more volunteers are needed in December

For 16 years, Jacksonville Historical Society volunteers have staffed the ever growing October Pumpkin Run at Evergreen Cemetery. It requires a “wake up call” typically around 5 a.m. to set up and staff the water tables for the 8 a.m. run through historic Evergreen. 2,000 plus runners participated this year.

The JHS volunteer team who pulled off this early morning duty on October 25 included Emmet, Julie and Emma Ruth Ferguson; Joann Purdie; Fran Root; Reecy Thorton; Bob Hennigar; Beth Hohl Asbury; Richard, Jean, Sophie and Nick Grimsley; Maggie Means; Harry Reagan; Lisa Sheppard; and Emily and Larry Lisska.

“It’s the first year since the race began in 2000...[Read more]



Subtropical Exposition medal

Jacksonville Historical Society Collection.

Subtropical Exposition

It must have been exciting to be in Jacksonville during the winter of 1887-1888! The city must have been abuzz with the construction of the spectacular building for the Sub-Tropical Exposition. The building resembled a Moorish Castle topped by towers and minarets. Finally on January 12, 1888, the Sub-Tropical Exposition opened at the waterworks site on ...[Read more]




Simulating Warfare in Northern Florida

"The Spirit of '45" Exhibit

last day is November 11

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II, the Jacksonville Historical Society is showcasing an original exhibit titled “The Spirit of ’45: A Home-Front Retrospective”. Curated by Stephen Carlisle and using a wealth of rare artifacts and mementoes, the exhibit emphasizes the human story in how the war interfaced with the residents of Duval County.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, is been shown at the Jacksonville Historical Society headquarters and archives, 314 Palmetto St., Jacksonville 32202.

Exhibit Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday | 10a.m. - 5p.m.
Where: Old St. Luke's, 314 Palmetto Street

The exhibit remains open through Veteran's Day, November 11th.

IMG 8007

Hansel & Gretel by Karin Jackson in the Gingerbread Extravaganza '14.

Calling all gingerbread builders

All age groups, any size group and individuals are invited to build for the annual JHS Gingerbread Extravaganza. For most builders, participating captures the spirit of the holidays. Thousands flock to the JHS to view the Extravaganza, this year, December 2 through December 23.

The Gingerbread Extravaganza is the society’s only dedicated fundraiser and without gingerbread houses and other creative confections, there is no event. Rank amateurs mix with professionals in “the most creative art show in town.”

History is also prominent with historic buildings typically included. “In fact, some of the city’s most interesting buildings are planned for this year’s event,” according to Pat Andrews, event chair and JHS board member.

Other categories include storybook, religious, fantasy, traditional, landmark, local historic and “other.”

Participants are asked to complete a “Builder’s Permit” for the historical society, found at The finished creations are due Saturday, Nov. 28 and Monday Nov. 30 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“While it’s not required that the creation is made of gingerbread, the rules ask that 85 percent of the creation is made of confection or other food products. So, there are actually creations from time to time that don’t include gingerbread,” said Pat.

For more information, 665-0064.




"The Ten Most Amazing People Who Lived in Jacksonville You Likely Never Heard Of"

With presenter Stephen Dare, Co-Publisher of Metro Jacksonville
Tuesday, November 17 at Old St. Andrew's, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.

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



Evergreen Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery is the oldest, fully operating cemetery in the city. It was founded in 1880 and hosted its first burial in 1881. Evergreen has numerous sections for various fraternal, military and religious groups -- especially a large Catholic section and two large sections set aside for the Hebrew Cemeteries. Evergreen also includes the old Woodlawn Cemetery and Mount Olive, an African American section.

Evergreen Cemetery is also an official arboretum, a tree sanctuary, used for educational purposes. Every tree on the ... [Read more]




The Florida Times-Union

October 1, 1968: Operation of City-County consolidated government formally begins. Consolidation of the city and county government created 841 square miles, the largest city in land mass in the contiguous United States. In the photo to the left, actress Lee Meredith and Mayor Hans Tanzler help make 'the point' for the Bold New City of the South.


Henry Aaron and Ben Geraghty of the Jacksonville Tars, 1953.

October 2, 1953: South Atlantic League (also known as the Sally League) batting crown won by Henry Aaron of the Jacksonville Tars. Aaron's batting average was .362. He was also named the Leagues' MVP. One Jacksonville Journal columnist wrote, "I seriously believe Aaron may have started Jacksonville down the road to racial understanding."

October 12, 1565: After they were shipwrecked by a storm, Jean Ribault and most of his men were executed on orders given by Pedro Menendez. The Spanish then began 198 years of uninterrupted Florida ownership.


City of Jacksonville


Our Mission: The mission of the Jacksonville Historical Society is to foster and promote the appreciation of the history of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida by collecting, preserving, presenting, and interpreting that history for the benefit and education of its members, the public and future generations.

Staff: Emily Lisska, Executive Director| Taryn Rodriguez-Boette, Associate Director & Archivist| Meghan Powell, Office Manager & Event Coordinator| Danielle Kendrick, Archives and Office Assistant| Sherrard Ceglia, Archives Assistant| Robert Hughes, Facilities Manager

2015-16 JHS Board Ed Booth, President| Jeffrey Graf, Vice-President| Maggie Means, Secretary| Jeff Bryan, Treasurer | Pat Andrews| Elizabeth Hohl Asbury| Alan Bliss| Jennifer Brower| Jean Grimsley| Cora Hackley| Robert Hennigar| Zilla Hillin| Doug Milne| Christina Parrish| Harry Reagan| Robin Robinson| Lisa Sheppard| Reecy Thornton| Wayne W. Wood

email facebook foursquare instagram linkedin pinterest twitter youtube