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The Durkeeville community was founded just after the Civil War by a Union soldier J. H. Durkee, who purchased the land speculating that the railroad would be coming to Jacksonville. When the railroad did come and passed to the south of Durkee’s land, he was faced with huge losses and split the land into parcels and sold it to African-Americans, who were eager to own their first pieces of property.
In the 1930s, when African Americans were barred from living in many parts of the city. This was during the period of mandatory separation of the races and legal discrimination. The people who came together to create Durkeeville were middle class and working class individuals. Some were doctors, lawyers, educators and business people. Others were ordinary laborers. They created a neighborhood that sheltered and nurtured many during this challenging time.
The mission of the Durkeeville Historical Society is to research, record, and preserve the artifacts of the Durkeeville community and to present them in an educational and entertaining format, offer services for citizens to research their genealogy and to be the keepers of the many facets that make up this historical and cultural legacy of North West community of Jacksonville, Florida.
To learn more about the Durkeeville Neighborhood, visit The Durkeeville Historical Society.