Hurricane Matthew Destroys Historic Mandarin Dock

Oct 8, 2016

Jeff Edwards has lived in Mandarin for more than 35 years.

During that time, he said Friday’s storm surge from Hurricane Matthew was the highest water level he’s seen on the St. Johns River — a scene so violent, it destroyed a piece of Jacksonville history.

“It’s a shame to see it washed away as it is,” said Edwards about County Dock. “There’s not much left. It looks like we’ll have to rebuild it from scratch.”

Edwards said even when Hurricane Jeanne hit Florida in 2004, the dock and pier didn’t take much damage. But after Matthew, residents of the area are mourning the loss of the landmark, which once sat next to Walter Jones Historical Park at the end of County Dock Road.

The dock was originally built by Major William Webb, who owned the adjacent land in the 1870s. Since then, it had been used by Mandarin residents to hand launch boats.

Several private docks in the area were also severely damaged or destroyed.

The Walter Jones family moved to the parcel in the early 1900s and lived in its farmhouse until 1992.

Jacksonville purchased the land from the Jones family in 1994 and restored the farmhouse to as it appeared in the late 1800s. It was the city’s first historic park when it opened to the public in 2000.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax