Historic Map - Green Cove Springs, FL - 1885

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Green Cove Springs, county seat of Clay County, Florida. 1885. Beck & Pauli, litho.

Reproduction historic map of the county seat of Clay County, Green Cove Springs, Florida published in 1885.

The following "booster" statement appears in the lower margin of the map:

  "The 30th parallel of North latitude crosses Clay County, Florida, somewhat north of the center, and just south of the parallel on the west bank of the St. Johns river lies the town of Green Cove Springs, the county seat, one of the most popular and widely known winter resorts in Florida. Its famous sulphur spring has drawn people from every land and clime to bathe in and drink of its healing waters. Encircling the chasm whence the famous fountain flows, the town has grown beyond the encampment of the dusky Seminole, until it now embraces an area of about two square miles and contains six churches, three public schools, six hotels, a number of stores, two saw-mills and a manufactory of shingles. Its resident population is about one thousand, cosmopolitan in character, and generally genial and friendly in disposition. The transportation facilities are unsurpassed in any town in Florida; three large piers jutting out into the St. Johns, affords convenient access to sea-going vessels and river craft of every kind, while the Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad, running through the center of the town gives communication with the railroad systems of the country. The town is also the terminus of the Green Cove Springs and Melrose Railroad, which is now in operation for a distance of twelve miles, and is intended to cross the peninsula. Another through line of railroad, affording direct communication with other railroad systems, is partly constructed, and when it shall be completed, Green Cove Springs will have two competitive parallel lines of railroad. Through some of the principal streets of the town, a line of street railroad has recently been completed and is now in operation, connecting with all the railroad stations, wharfs and hotels.

  The tract of land on which the town of Green Cove Springs is built, is known as the "Bayard Tract", fronting on the St. Johns river for some fourteen miles, (the larger part, of which is now in market,) is one of the best in the river. This tract, during the time that Florida was a Spanish colony, was granted by the government to G. I. F. Clark, who was at the time Surveyor General of the colony. In that position he had every chance for choosing the best. Shortly after the United States purchased Florida, Gen. Clinch, then in command of the army in this department, bought this tract of land from Don Clark, and it has remained in his family every since. It has miles of the best bluff hammock, fronting on the St. Johns extending back from the river it is diversified by creeks and ridges, some of the ridges rising to a height of one hundred and fifty feet above the water. A few miles above Green Cove Springs, the river turns from its general course and runs nearly due west as far as the town, again taking its course to the north just below the corporation limits. This gives many miles of river lands protected on the north by twenty miles of water, the best water protection on the St. Johns. Commencing one half mile back of the river, there is a large body of land underlaid with shell marl, the shell being largely mixed with bones in all stages of decay. Much of the surface is a dark vegetable mould and is admirably suited to truck-growing, producing more to a given area than any other class of land in the State. These marl lands have been found to be the very best for orange and other fruit culture; the marl furnishing all needed elements for their rapid growth, thus saving the large annual expense usually incurred in the purchase of commercial fertilizers. For vegetable growing, our rich low lands abundant marl deposits our facilities for transportation, our many hotels and boarding houses, giving quick and cheap communication to all important points, make Clay County a very desirable locality for that class of settlers who come to Florida hoping to make money out of the products of the soil. For further information address C. C. Bemis, G. C. S. Florida."

Features numbered references to the following locations:

  1. Episcopal Church.
  2. Presbyterian Church.
  3. Methodist Church.
  4. Catholic Church.
  5. Baptist Church.
  6. African M. E. Church.
  7. Colored Baptist Church.
  8. County Court House and Jail.
  9. School.
  10. The Spring Office.
  11. Post Office.
  12. Spring and Bath Pools.
  13. Depots.
  14. Street Railway Stables.
  15. The Pines Hotel.
  16. Clarendon Hotel, Harris and Applegate.
  17. The Morganza, A. G. Morgan, Proprietor.
  18. The Riverside.
  19. Magnolia Hotel.
  20. Crocker's Hall.
  21. Saw, Planing and Shingle Mills.
  22. Pine Grove Cotton Gin & Grist Mills, Butler & Ardern, Proprietors.
  23. H. C. Souter, Saw and Planing Mill.
  24. W. S. Plummer, General Ticket & Express Office.
  25. J. C. Crocker, General Merchandise.
  26. W. J. Wilson & Bros., General Merchandise.
  27. J. R. Coffee, General Merchandise.
  28. W. D. Colmar, Drugs & Fancy Goods.
  29. M. J. Canova, Drugs & News Depot.
  30. Rosenbush & Benderoth, Bakery, Groceries, Fruits and etc.
  31. G. A. Brazee, Contractor & Builder.
  32. Geo. C. Bemis, General Merchandise.
  33. C. C. Bemis, Residence.
  34. W. S. Plummer, Residence.
  35. Dr. E. H. Bemis, Residence.
  36. J. L. Kirkpatrick, Residence.
  37. G. T. Butler, Residence.
  38. J. C. Ardern, Residence.
  39. Land Office, Town and Villa Lots, 18,000 acres of land adjoining the town, including 10 miles of frontage on the St. John's River, in lots to suit purchasers.


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