The Sports District: Life Before Everbank Field

December 8, 2015 7 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

While the Jacksonville City Council is poised to pass a bill this week to add an amphitheater and indoor football facility at Everbank Field, Metro Jacksonville takes a look at what was in the Sports District before football.


General view of Jacksonville Naval Stores Yards at Commodores Point Terminals, showing turpentine warehouse, turpentine tanks and rosin yard. Courtesy of Naval Stores: History, Production, Distribution and Consumption, 1921.

The Commodores Point Terminal Company was incorporated in 1915. Its officers were A.G. Cummer, George H. Baldwin, J.M. Baker, and S.W. Marshall. Warehousing and terminal operations started in 1917. Its construction included the creation of a one mile bulkhead and reclaimation of 135 acres of land. Then, sitting between the terminal tracks of the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line Railway companies, its tracks formed a connection between the two.

During its early years, Jacksonville was a major turpentine production center. One particular kind that was prevalent in North Florida in particular was Oleoresin, better known to turpentiners as “pine resin.” This was a natural byproduct of certain types of pine trees and was handled frequently in Jacksonville. This pine resin would be extracted from the trees by laborers and then distilled to give us what was known as “spirit turpentine.”  This turpentine was originally used for sealing wooden ships to protect against leaks, which is why it eventually was given the nickname “naval stores.”

Much of the turpentine and rosin in the area was stored and exported at Commodores Point's Jacksonville Naval Stores Yard. The shipping terminal was also designed for the handling of lumber and other forest products and home to many warehouses.

Loading rosin for foreign shipment at the Jacksonville Naval Stores Yard in 1921.. Courtesy of Naval Stores: History, Production, Distribution and Consumption, 1921.

Steamboats docked at Commodore Point on July 1, 1939. State Archives of Florida.

Dating back to 1915, this building was the original office of Commodore Point Terminal Company.

Liquid Carbonic Carbon Dioxide Corporation

It wasn’t until Jacob Baur began to manufacture carbon dioxide in tanks that the real soda fountain was born. Baur was a pharmacist who started the Liquid Carbonic Co. in 1888 and eventually began to manufacture and market the Liquid Carbonic soda fountains in the early 1900’s. A potential soda jerk could purchase a Liquid Carbonic soda fountain, complete with operations and recipe manual, from Baur and set up shop. He could go into the soda fountain business.  This former Liquid Carbonic Carbon Dioxide Corporation chemical plant dates back to 1926.  Liquid Carbonic was the world leader in carbon dioxide when it was acquired by Praxair in 1996.  This facility ceased operations in 2005.

Lanahan Lumber Company, Inc.

East Adams Street's Michael J. Lanahan Lumber Co., Inc. is one of the oldest operating lumber yards in the country, distributing lumber and building materials since 1946.

Petroleum Fuel & Terminal Company

Petroleum Fuel & Terminal Company's East Adams Street facilities date back to 1934. Apex Oil Company, PF&T's parent company, specializes in asphalt, kerosene, fuel oil, diesel fuel, heavy oil, gasoline and marine bunker sales. For many years, this Jacksonville fossil fuel terminal was owned and operated by the Colonial Oil Company.

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