Opening in 1907 in the Springfield neighborhood, Dignan Park was the city’s first supervised playground. The park later became home to the Confederate Veterans annual reunion and a monument honoring the Women of the Southland. This prompted the city to rename the park to Confederate Park. In August 2020 the park was renamed from Confederate Park to Springfield Park.
Known as the “The Coney Island of the South,” Dixieland Park opened in Downtown’s Southbank in 1907. At the time, it was one of Florida’s biggest attractions featuring Alligator Joe Campbell, ostrich races, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, bands and plenty of family fun. The 30-acre sprawling entertainment complex drew tourist from all over the world to Jacksonville. Dixieland & other ostrich parks faded around the time of World War I.
In 1918, the Jacksonville Rotary Club proposed a memorial to honor the World War I fallen heroes of Florida. Approximately six acres of riverfront land were dedicated to the project in the Riverside neighborhood. Local architect Benjamin Greeley, the Olmsted Brothers and sculptor Charles Adrian Pillars were commissioned to create the beautiful Memorial Park by the end of 1924.