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Heartbreakingly Cool Footage of Downtown in 1942

Old 16mm vacation films were recently discovered at a garage sale in San Jose, CA by Tim Peddy and converted to digital courtesy of The California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. It depicts a train ride from California to Florida via New York City, ultimately arriving in Pensacola via Jacksonville. Check out the streets and bridges of downtown during its heyday!

Published November 28, 2013 in History      18 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

There are four other videos of old florida as well as some really great vintage film on his youtube account,
which you can check out here:

Related Articles:

Jacksonville's amazing history. Take a look through the archives.

When Downtown Jacksonville Was The Place to Be

Screen Shots from the Video:

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July 24, 2013, 03:11:34 PM
Very neat. That is how my grandparents remember Adams St and Main St and Downtoen in general. Cool to see it so lit up.


July 24, 2013, 03:17:14 PM
I must say that was a true treat and I want to say thank you Metro Jacksonville for that flash back.  ;)


July 24, 2013, 03:54:17 PM
That is very cool. Thank you MJ.


July 24, 2013, 04:22:43 PM
Great Find!  8)  Ocks probably going nuts over the trains...  :)


July 26, 2013, 09:39:40 AM
Looks like a completely different place. Love the bright lights. This is Main Street in the vicinity of the Main Street pocket park. The tall building on the left is the Rhodes Furniture Building. That's the site of the library today. The buildings on the right sit on the lot where cars now park next to Burrito Gallery.


July 26, 2013, 11:05:43 AM
All the lights and signs is what really makes it stand out and look alive. Go Downtown now at night and it is dreadfully dark.


July 26, 2013, 12:51:53 PM
I am surprised there aren't more videos like this of downtown Jacksonville from its heyday.


July 26, 2013, 01:13:50 PM
Who is the music by?  Anyone know the name of the song?


July 26, 2013, 01:51:13 PM
^ it says in the credits it at the end of the video


July 26, 2013, 02:16:15 PM
In case you missed it, there are screen shots from the video in the main article.

Mike D

July 26, 2013, 09:52:43 PM
We've seen many still photos of downtown in this era, but it's completely different to see this great color film.  Terrific!


July 27, 2013, 04:09:12 PM
Who is the music by?  Anyone know the name of the song?

For the record, Josh Turner "Jacksonville"


August 01, 2013, 01:39:19 PM
WOW!!!  I'm speechless.


August 01, 2013, 02:38:29 PM
Makes me really hate modern Jacksonville, those that brought us to this point, and mostly, those that are keeping it this way.


August 01, 2013, 03:22:59 PM
All I can say is 'wow'.  Jacksonville was an example of bright lights, big city in the heyday of its downtown.  Simply beautiful.

Wacca Pilatka

August 01, 2013, 08:51:52 PM
Who is the music by?  Anyone know the name of the song?

For the record, Josh Turner "Jacksonville"

Correct, but the version in the video isn't Turner's version of the song (one of my very favorite songs of all time).  I never realized anyone else had covered it.


October 09, 2013, 01:51:17 PM
The photo of West Adams Street shows the Palace and Imperial Theatres near the top. Unless those buildings were later moved a block south, the photo is Forsyth Street. Thanks.


November 20, 2013, 07:31:09 PM
Wow ... seeing what DT used to look like ... amazing! I wish I lived there!
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