Jacksonville Beach: Summer of '09

August 27, 2009 32 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A look at one of Jacksonville's most vibrant areas for entertainment, people watching, cycling and walkability; Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach Timeline

1884 - The first lots go on sale in Ruby, FL (original name of Jacksonville Beach).

1884 - The 16.5 mile Jacksonville & Atlantic Railway opens connecting Ruby with South Jacksonville.

1884 - The first lot is purchased by General Francis E. Spinner, the Treasurer of the United States during the Civil War.

1886 - Ruby is renamed Pablo Beach.

1886 - The 350 room, six story Murray Hall Hotel opens.

1890 - Built out of wood, the Murray Hall Hotel is destroyed by fire.

1899 - Jacksonville & Atlantic Railway purchased by Henry Flagler who extends it to Mayport.

1900 - Pablo Beach is served by three daily trains to Jacksonville.

1907 - Pablo Beach is incorporated as a town and H.M. Shockley becomes the first mayor.

1907 - One of the first ordinances of Pablo Beach was the prohibition of "indecent bathing suits."

1910 - Atlantic Boulevard is completed, linking Pablo Beach with Jacksonville.  Pablo Beach has a population of 249.

1920 - Miller & Rose opens an amusement park at Pablo Beach complete with a rambling roller coaster.

1922 - Extending 600 feet into the ocean, the original fishing pier is completed by Charles Shad.  

1925 - Pablo Beach is renamed Jacksonville Beach.

1932 - Florida East Coast Railway abandons the rail line linking South Jacksonville with Jacksonville Beach.

1937 - The State of Florida takes over old railroad right-of-way.

1949 - Built over the old railroad right-of-way, Beach Boulevard opens.

1961 - The original wooden fishing pier is destroyed by fire.

1964 - Most of the Ocean View Pavilion amusement park is destroyed by Hurricane Dora.  

1968 - Along with Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach remains a quasi-independent city when Jacksonville consolidates with Duval County.

2000 - Jacksonville Beach's population is listed as 20,990 by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Covering 7.7 square miles of land area, Jacksonville Beach has a population density of 2,726 people per square mile.

2004 - City establishes a 35ft building height limit to stop the growth off high rise condominium towers within it's limits.

The Ocean View Pavilion

Much of Central Jacksonville Beach was once occupied by the Ocean View Pavilion Amusement Park.

This former amusement park was located in vicinity of where the Bandshell and the Jacksonville Beach Pier stand today. It included a ferris wheel and a 50 mph wooden roller coaster known as "The Beach Coaster" which operated from 1928 to 1949. Much of the area where the park was located was destroyed by Hurricane Dora in 1964.
A Jax Beach Ocean View Pavilion Photo Tour is available on the Metro Jacksonville website.

The 1930's/40's

The 50 mph wood rollercoaster, "The Beach Coaster" operated from 1928 to 1949.

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