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Author Topic: Where Are The Streetcars Now?  (Read 708 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« on: February 10, 2012, 03:18:39 AM »
Where Are The Streetcars Now?



The story goes that the Jacksonville Traction Company got its historical start when an African American man found a four wheel tram, built a car body on it, and went into the street railroad business. While that may sound far fetched today, it should be remembered that many different trams and rails were in use in industry, such as sawmilling, throughout the area.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-feb-where-are-the-streetcars-now

Gravity

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 11:59:17 AM »
What a shame.

Might be interesting to cross reference a study between the removal of the lines and the deterioration of the areas

Miss Fixit

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 09:26:20 PM »
My house in Springfield was owned by one of the original owners of the Fernandina and Amelia Beach Railway, which was incorporated in 1883. That line was later leased by the Florida Central and Peninsular Railway, which eventually became part of Seaboard Air Line Railways. I wonder of any of Jacksonville's streetcar lines were ever associated with the larger railroad companies?

Ocklawaha

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 12:02:23 AM »
Yes, the Plant Investment Company ultimately bought out the early companies which included: The Main Street Railway (originally narrow gauge PINE STREET RY) which they rebuilt to standard gauge per a city ordinance. They built The Jacksonville Street Railway, and bought up the Jacksonville and LaVilla Street Railway. Shortly after Henry Bradley Plant's death, the company was sold to "The Atlantic Coast Line of Railroads," which was a bakers dozen of shoreline and regional railroads which merged to form 'The Atlantic Coast Line.'  Plant brought in the first electric streetcars along with his ownership of the Jacksonville Electric Company (both light and power as well as a street railway name: Jacksonville Electric Railway).

1912, was the year the consolidated lines of the Jacksonville Electric Railway. The consolidation also included 'The North Jacksonville Street Railway Town and Improvement Company.

Being black history month, lets just say that the North Jacksonville line made the national press, the Street Railway Journal and the Evening Journal in NYC.  (The ordinances were pushed on the city by The Avery Law, resulting from several court cases)

The streetcar companies were also opposed to the segregation laws on both moral and economic grounds. Mayor Nolan, who had defended his lax enforcement of the local ordinance , was elected to a second term of office. While white company owners resented the segregation regulations.

The North Jacksonville Street Railway company, which prided itself on only having African American motormen and conductors. The Street Railway Journal and Railway Age carried stories on "The Truly First Class Electric Railway, owned by Negroes. By 1903, the line had gained a mythical status; the Eve Journal of New York reported that “The Negroes of Jacksonville believe in self help” and had demonstrated this by putting their money together and building a street railway of their own in which “there is not a white man in the company” but which permitted whites to ride. Regardless of the eventual takeover, the temporary existence of an African American- owned streetcar company bolstered the belief that segregation could not be foisted upon the community. It also reveals the existence of an affluent African American community that could directly challenge white dominance. The company was founded by African American businessman in the wake of the 1901 boycott and bought out in 1905.

We live in what has to be one of the most accepting and welcoming cities in history. The story of the streetcar companies, the boycotts, and the court cases paint an image of Jacksonville in 1900-20 of a city every bit the equal of today's San Francisco. African American candidates served on the city council, and in fact the Sheriff was Black. As the streetcar segregation controversy continued to be tried in courts, Jacksonville was electing Black city councilmen! Negroes were elected from the sixth ward to city council, which had no candidates for the Democratic primary and the lowest number of white voters. In this ward six African American candidates competed and J. Douglas Wetmore, who would soon challenge the state's new law on streetcar segregation, was among the winners.

African Americans in Jacksonville held every political office except mayor. Both disenfranchisement and the streetcar segregation ordinance were central issues in the June 1905 election.

Simply put, The Jacksonville Traction Company bought out the Jacksonville Electric Railway and created the largest streetcar system south of Atlanta or east of New Orleans.

nomeus

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 12:48:43 AM »
very interesting

Tacachale

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »
Ock, it's stories and posts like that that really make my day.
To quote Merlin, "There is only one thing for it, then - to learn."
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

RockStar

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 12:05:22 PM »
I love the photo with the streetcar and the palm trees. Is there anywhere I can get a hi-def jpg of it?  It's a crime that we HAD streetcars and now we don't. I'm curious to know under which mayor the streetcar system in Jacksonville was dismantled. I'll go piss on his grave.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 11:33:20 PM »
I love the photo with the streetcar and the palm trees. Is there anywhere I can get a hi-def jpg of it?  It's a crime that we HAD streetcars and now we don't. I'm curious to know under which mayor the streetcar system in Jacksonville was dismantled. I'll go piss on his grave.

Rockstar, Check out the State Photographic Archives (online search) under: "Jacksonville: streetcars, trolleys, electric railways, Jacksonville Electric Company, Jacksonville Traction Company" and they can set you up with a hi-def photo. Most of these originals were Glass Plate Negatives, which have amazing definition and make good copy candidates.
Here's a starting place:  http://www.floridamemory.com/solr-search/results/?q=jacksonville%20trolleys%5E10&query=jacksonville%20trolleys&searchbox=&gallery=

OCK

scottjsmith

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 04:55:08 PM »
There are several articles on this site that show where some of the streetcars ended up.  There's at least on in someone's back yard in Springfield...all rusted through.  It wasn't long ago (before JAX's most recent street re-paving) that you could still see the tracks peeking through worn layers of pavement.  All the tracks are still here...they're just covered up.  Want streetcars?  Excavate 2-to-4 inches, and you're good to go!

(Edit:  Whoops...that's a subway car:  http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/History/Springfield-NYC-Subway-Car/7073384_zChDPv#!i=767019792&k=Cba7b )

Garden guy

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 05:18:09 PM »
One would make a great party car...10 friends 5 clubs..what a cool night that'd be....rolling from neighborhood to neighborhood with a party goin' on?

Ocklawaha

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Re: Where Are The Streetcars Now?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 09:57:28 PM »
There are several articles on this site that show where some of the streetcars ended up.  There's at least on in someone's back yard in Springfield...all rusted through.  It wasn't long ago (before JAX's most recent street re-paving) that you could still see the tracks peeking through worn layers of pavement.  All the tracks are still here...they're just covered up.  Want streetcars?  Excavate 2-to-4 inches, and you're good to go!

(Edit:  Whoops...that's a subway car:  http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/History/Springfield-NYC-Subway-Car/7073384_zChDPv#!i=767019792&k=Cba7b )

Scott, there probably IS a streetcar somewhere in Riverside/Murray Hill/Springfield/San Marco... In FACT JTA has had calls about one or two in San Marco, but failed to take down the information as 'they don't care.'

In rare cases the original rails actually CAN be reused, it would be very cool, but 90% or so of ours were pulled up during WWII scrap drives. So one might even say, Ocklawaha's Daddy delivered some of Jacksonville Traction to Imperial Japan.

Garden Guy, DON'T PUKE ON MY VINTAGE STREETCAR OR I'LL HAVE TO TAKE YOU TO CHURCH!