Fast Facts

How well do you know Jax? ​From history and geography to famous residents and just plain old trivia.

  • How well do you really know Jacksonville?

    • Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States with over 840 square miles.
    • Jacksonville was named for General Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of Florida who, incidentally, never visited Jacksonville
    • Duval Street, like the county, was named for William Pope Duval, the first Territorial Governor of Florida.
    • Isiah Hart, who founded Jacksonville, named two of the city's first streets after his daughters, Julia and Laura.
    • Hemming Park, the city's oldest public park, is named for Charles C. Hemming, a Civil War veteran and Jacksonville native.
    • The Mayport Ferry is Florida's only public auto ferry and connects Jacksonville's beaches to the Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island areas.
    • The St. Johns River is one of just a few rivers in North America that flows north instead of south.
    • The eclectic Five Points area, with unique shops and dining experiences, is named for its landmark five-way intersection.
    • The military employs over 30,000 active-duty personnel and nearly 20,000 civilians in the Jacksonville area.
    • As of 2018, the median age in Northeast Florida is 36 years old - younger than all major cities in Florida.
  • Jacksonville Architecture & Landmarks

    • Planted in 1822, Treaty Oak, located on the Southbank of Downtown has a circumference of 25 feet and reaches more than 70 feet into the sky. This is Jacksonville's oldest resident.
    • The Great Fire of 1901 destroyed 146 city blocks in Downtown Jacksonville. It is the third largest urban fire in the U.S., next to the Great Chicago Fire, and the 1906 San Francisco fire.
    • The Civil War Soldier statue in Hemming Park survived the Great Fire of 1901. One of only a handful of structures to remain from before the fire.
    • Famed architect, Henry John Klutho was commissioned to design the St. James Building in 1912 serving as a department store. Jacksonville's City Hall now calls this building its home.
    • When the Prudential Building, now known as the Aetna Building, opened in 1955, it was the tallest office building in the South at 22 stories.
    • When Friendship Fountain opened in 1965, it was billed as the world's largest and tallest fountain.
    • The Dames Point Bridge opened in 1989 at a cost of $117 million dollars. It is the second longest concrete cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
    • The Jacksonville Navy Memorial, on Downtown's Southbank Riverwalk, commemorates the relationship between the people of Jacksonville and the U.S. Navy. The statue is of a young sailor looking out to sea, dressed in uniform with his duffel bag at his feet.
  • Historical Jacksonville Facts

    • Fort Caroline is a near full-scale rendering created to memorialize the 16th century French effort to establish a permanent colony in Florida.
    • The fire of 1901, sparked from a chimney and igniting a fiber factory, destroyed the heart of the city - 146 city blocks and 2,368 buildings were destroyed. Some 8,677 residents were left homeless and seven people died. The damage was $15 million - $2 billion today.
    • In the early 1900s the Ostrich Farm, located on what is today's Southbank of Downtown, was the city's biggest tourist draw.
    • In 1916, over 30 movie companies called Jacksonville home with stars such as Oliver Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle making movies in town. Citizens became fed up with the noise and the industry moved to California.
    • In 1935, A.L. Lewis opened American Beach, a retreat for African Americans who were refused entry to public beaches.
  • Jacksonville Sports Facts

    • In 1901, Jacksonville hosted the first-ever college football game played in Florida, with a crowd of 2,000 watching Florida Agricultural College take on Stetson University.
    • The first River Run, an annual 15-kilometer race, took place on April 1, 1978. Today, the race boasts over 13,000 runners each year.
    • The National Football league awarded its 30th franchise team to Jacksonville in 1993.
    • The World Golf Hall of Fame opened in 1998.
    • The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, with 16,000 seats opened in 2003.
    • Jacksonville was selected as the site for Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
    • Jacksonville native Bob Hayes is the only man to win an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.
    • TOUCHDOWN! The jaguar statue outside of TIAA Bank Field is 16 feet long and weighs in at 2,850 pounds.
  • Jax Culture Facts

    • The Florida Theatre opened in 1927 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The theatre was home to one of Elvis Presley's first indoor concerts in 1956. A local judge sat through the performance to ensure Presley's body movements would not become too suggestive.
    • In its mid-20th century heyday, the LaVilla neighborhood, home to the Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum, was known as the "Harlem of the South."
    • The oldest, continuously operating community theater in the country is Theatre Jacksonville, in operation since 1919.
    • The Alhambra Theatre and Dining is the longest running professional dinner theatre in the nation.
    • Built in 1997, Jacoby Symphony Hall is the only true orchestra hall in Florida and is home to the Jacksonville Symphony.
    • Local chocolate shop, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, was named after the owners two children - Peter and Brooke.
    • Pete's, the oldest bar in Duval County, was featured in the John Grisham novel The Brethren.
    • Since 1977, the Sally Corporation, has created animatronics figures and theme rides for adventure and amusement parks worldwide. Past clients include - Universal Studios, Disney on Ice and Six Flags Belgium.
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Patty winters

Patty Winters

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