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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Green Cove Springs in Clay County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Green Cove Springs

 
 
Green Cove Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
1. Green Cove Springs Marker
Inscription. High ground along the river and a flowing mineral spring drew the first inhabitants to this area some 7000 years ago, but historic development dates from 1816 when George I. F. Clarke erected a sawmill in this vicinity under a Spanish land grant. The first settlement, called White Sulfur Springs, was established in 1854, with a wharf, a store, and several houses clustered around a public square. During the Civil War, Federal troops frequently skirmished with Confederate forces in the vicinity, and finally occupied the town in 1864. Renamed in 1866, Green Cove Springs became the seat of Clay County government in 1871. Tourism flourished, surpassing citrus culture and lumbering as the area's economic base. River steamers brought visitors to the "Saratoga of the South", noted for the healthful qualities of its famous spring and for hotels and boarding houses said to rival the finest to be found in northern resorts. By the 1890s, the population reached more than 1500. But an expanding railroad system carried tourists southward and a great freeze in 1895 destroyed the surrounding citrus groves. The city's tourist industry declined sharply.
(Reverse side text)
The advent of the automobile age and the creation of a state highway system provided the basis for economic recovery in the 1920s, when the city shared in the general prosperity
Green Cove Springs Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
2. Green Cove Springs Marker, reverse side
of the Florida Land Boom. But the collapse of the boom and the depression of the 1930s marked the end of the early development of the city. Between 1940 and 1945, the city experienced renewed development. The population increased from 1752 to 3026 as a result of the wartime construction of Benjamin Lee Field, a 1500 acre air auxiliary complex, by the U. S. Navy. With the end of World War II, thirteen piers were constructed by the Navy and the Green Cove base became home port to a "mothball fleet" of some 600 ships. With its share of returning war veterans, the community's population grew through the 1950s to a total of 4233 in 1960. In 1961, the Navy decommissioned its base and the reserve fleet was transferred to another facility. In 1984, the city annexed the former naval base into its corporate limits, tying this part of its heritage to its future growth and development.
 
Erected 1991 by The City of Green Cove Springs in Cooperation with the Florida Department of State.
 
Location. 29° 59.638′ N, 81° 40.618′ W. Marker is in Green Cove Springs, Florida, in Clay County. Marker is on Walnut Street near St Johns Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located at Spring Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 229 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs FL 32043, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Green Cove Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
3. Green Cove Springs Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Village Improvement Association Woman's Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Clay County Courthouse (approx. half a mile away); Hickory Grove Baptist Church and Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Fort Fransisco De Pupo (approx. 3.1 miles away); William Bartram Scenic Highway (approx. 3.6 miles away); Camp Chowenwaw (approx. 3.8 miles away); William Bartram's Plantation (approx. 4.1 miles away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Green Cove Springs.
 
Also see . . .  Green Cove Springs is a hydrological spring and a city. locally known as the “Original Fountain of Youth", attracted guests in the 19th Century; there were more than a dozen hotels near the spring. (Submitted on March 11, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, World II
 
Green Cove Springs as seen today image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
4. Green Cove Springs as seen today
Green Cove Springs reaching the St. Johns River image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
5. Green Cove Springs reaching the St. Johns River
Green Cove Springs Marker, at Walnut Street near St Johns Avenue image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 10, 2013
6. Green Cove Springs Marker, at Walnut Street near St Johns Avenue
Green Cove Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, February 13, 2015
7. Green Cove Springs Marker
Since the original photo was taken, the shrubbery has grown a bit- it was a bit difficult to find the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 11, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 504 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 11, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   7. submitted on February 13, 2015, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.
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