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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

near Callahan in Nassau County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Italia

 
 
Italia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 30, 2012
1. Italia Marker
Inscription.  The town of Italia was founded here in 1882 by Irish-born entrepreneur William MacWilliams. Italia was located at milepost 18 on the Florida Transit Railroad, which ran from Fernandina to Cedar Key. The town began when former U.S. Senator David Levy Yulee, President of the Florida Transit Railroad, convinced MacWilliams to build a brick factory here. Timber businesses soon came to Italia with the opening of a wood- shingle mill and a sawmill to take advantage of nearby forests. By 1885, Italia had about 100 inhabitants and included a depot, post office, and general store. Products made here were used in commercial and residential buildings in Fernandina and many other northeast Florida locations. Thomas J. Shave brought new life to Italia when he built a turpentine still in 1905. By 1910, turpentine was the area's primary business. Italia suffered a fatal blow in the mid - 1920s when the railroad was re-routed from Callahan to Gross, leaving the town without a viable link to distant markets. MacWilliams named his town Italia, reflecting a then - popular Florida marketing campaign which promoted the state as "America's Italy" because of its similar
Italia Marker, looking west along State Road A1A image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 30, 2012
2. Italia Marker, looking west along State Road A1A
peninsular shape and temperate climate.
 
Erected 2012 by A Florida Heritage Site Sponsored by the Friends of Italia and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-731.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 30° 36.939′ N, 81° 43.093′ W. Marker is in near Callahan, Florida, in Nassau County. Marker is on The Buccaneer Trail (State Road 200) (State Road A1A) near near Rocking Horse Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Callahan FL 32011, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jacksonville National Cemetery (approx. 4.8 miles away); The Ultimate Sacrifice (approx. 4.8 miles away); Address by President Lincoln (approx. 4.8 miles away); The Carillon (approx. 4.8 miles away); Freedom is Not Free (approx. 4.8 miles away); Sky Soldiers (approx. 4.8 miles away); Navy Seabees (approx. 4.8 miles away); Pearl Harbor (approx. 4.9 miles away).
 
Italia Marker, seen looking east along State Road A1A image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 30, 2012
3. Italia Marker, seen looking east along State Road A1A
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 7, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 599 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 7, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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Jul. 13, 2020