Neighborhoods: Springfield Warehouse District

February 13, 2013 19 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Telfair Stockton & Company developed a significant chunk of Jacksonville's urban core that we know and love today. While Springfield, Avondale, and San Marco stand out to most, Stockton also was heavily involved in Jacksonville's growth as an industrial center. Here is a before and after look at the remains of Stockton's largest manufacturing center in Jacksonville's urban core: The Springfield Warehouse District.


The Coca-Cola Bottling Company in 1934. Courtesy of the Florida, Florida Memory,

The former Coca-Cola Bottling Company building is one of the warehouse district's most iconic structures. coca-Cola, which had operated a bottling plant in Jacksonville since 1905, built this plant in 1927 at 14th and Market Streets. Prior to Springfield, the company was one of the many industries that once lined West Bay Street in LaVilla.

Inside the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in 1948. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

During the company's 41 years of operation in Springfield, it grew to consume adjacent properties along 14th Street.  The Mehlas Warehouses and Mavis Bottling Works were two of these properties.


The Mehlas Warehouses in 1926. Courtesy of the Telfair Stockton & Company industrial advertisement.

Coca-Cola utilized the Mehlas Warehouses for product storage.  The Mehlas complex was completed in 1926 and housed companies that supported the larger manufacturing and distribution companies in the area.  Some of its earliest tenants included the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company (bakery), Michelin Tire Company, and Excelsior Mills Corporation (automobile upholstry).  Michelin and Excelsior Mills were within a one block walk of the Studebaker and Chevrolet parts warehouses.

Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company was founded in 1902 by Joseph Loose, Jacob Loose, and John H. Wiles in Kansas City. In 1946, the company's name was officially changed to Sunshine Biscuit, Inc.  Their most popular products were animal crackers and Trump's cookies. At the time of its purchase by Keebler in 1996, Sunshine Biscuits was the third largest cookie baker in the United States.  


The Mavis Bottling Company, shortly after opening. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Founded in 1926 by Charles G. Guth, a Baltimore candy maker, the Mavis Bottling Company of America built their factory across the street from Coca-Cola, at 14th and Market Streets in 1927.  It was one of eight plants Guth built across the country to produce a new chocolate drink called "Mavis".

In 1929, Mavis was consolidated into another company Guth was involved with called Loft, Inc. Loft owned and operated 200 candy stores with soda fountains that purchased over 31,500 gallons of Coca-Cola syrup each year.

After Coca-Cola refused to give him concessions on the sale of cola in his Loft stores, Guth started selling Pepsi.  When Pepsi-Cola went bankrupt in 1931, he purchased the company for $10,500, turning it into a national brand.  As Pespi grew, the Mavis Bottling Company was then absorbed into Pepsi-Cola and by 1936, Pepsi had become the nation's second largest soda company.

Loft, Inc. closed the Jacksonville Mavis bottling plant in 1930.  Coca-Cola expanded the building in 1946 and utilized as a cooler department, sign painting department, and private garage. In 1968, this bottling plant was replaced by a larger facility in Jacksonville's Westside.

A Coca-Cola truck on the property of the former Mavis Bottling Company. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,


Now the location of Habijax, 2404 North Hubbard Street is one of the last warehouses constructed in the Springfield Warehouse District.  Completed in 1951, it was the location of Duval Spirits, Inc. HabiJax of Jacksonville is the largest of the 1,600+ affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International (HFH) in the United States.

Habijax's parking lot on the southside of 14th Street was the location of Elder Moving & Storage-Mayflower Company.  

Elder Moving & Storage Company/Mayflower Warehouses, Inc. at 14th and Hubbard Streets in 1940. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

A Man working in the office of the Elder Moving and Storage company in 1943. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Article by Ennis Davis. Contact Ennis at

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