City History

E Street exterior
The Jaxson

Many of the places we frequent today in Jacksonville have a shared history — as gas stations.

Gilmore standing on corner
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Originally published October 2015

A new nonfiction book is inviting readers to take a journey through historic Jacksonville neighborhoods.

“The Mad Atlas of Virginia King” is part biography, part city guide, and part comic book. On Wednesday morning, the book’s author, Tim Gilmore, led WJCT’s Jessica Palombo on a tour through Riverside using his illustrated “Atlas.”

JHill on golf cart
Taylor Johnson / WJCT News

A new service is offering historical and cultural tours of downtown Jacksonville.

On Friday, founder Sherry JHill narrated from the front seat of a street-legal golf cart the history and culture passing by.

She’s calling these rides Zip Tours.

JHill says today’s tour is the result of a serendipitous meeting during One Spark with the carts’ owner, Bill Guerrant. 

“And within 30 days, we’ve launched a rolling history tour in downtown. And I am just so happy that we were able to put this together,” says JHill.  

Sherry Spearman / WJCT

Jacksonville's future residents can look forward to a glimpse into the past after the dedication and unveiling of a time capsule at the Duval County Courthouse this week.

Jacksonville's Big Jim Back On The Job

Aug 7, 2013

Jacksonville's so-called "oldest city employee" is getting back to work today after 15 months off the job.

Big Jim, the 120-year-old, 32-inch copper steam whistle, has resumed signaling from atop the JEA building on Main Street.

KailuaKid / YouTube

Recently discovered color 16mm vacation films offer a view into Jacksonville's past.

The footage, which was purchased at a garage sale in San Jose, CA, depicts a train ride from California to Florida. The trip includes stops in both Jacksonville and St. Augustine. 

The films were digitized by historical group The California Pioneers of Santa Clara County, and uploaded to YouTube by user Rick Helin (KailuaKid).

Check out the first part, which includes shots of the Main Street Bridge and Atlantic Boulevard, below:

A new City Council task force will soon be announced with the mission of reviewing Jacksonville's combined city-county government. 

The panel could contain up to 30 people, and will be chaired by Jacksonville City Councilwoman Lori Boyer.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

African American author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston is best known for her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Cyd Hoskinson/WJCT

The Matthews Bridge celebrated its 60th Anniversary Saturday with a rededication ceremony at the foot of the bridge in Arlington. 

Although tens-of-thousands of vehicles cross the Matthews Bridge every day, it’s unusual to see groups of people walking across it. But that’s exactly what you would have seen Saturday morning after Old Arlington, Inc. president Steve Matchett wrapped up the ceremony. 

"When the ribbon is cut, that's your signal that you can walk onto the bridge."