10 Cool Places In Jacksonville That Don't Exist AnymoreNovember 20, 2014 18 comments Print Article
It is no secret that Jacksonville has an extensive history—some pretty well known; some not so much. Here is a list of 10 places in Jacksonville that, unfortunately, do not exist anymore.
9. Moncrief Park
Moncrief track with grandstand in background. Image courtesy of Cardcow.com
Moncrief Park originally opened as a park in 1874, which included a baseball field, bathhouses, restaurants, bowling alleys, and a mile long racetrack. To provide access to the park from the city, the Jacksonville Traction Company extended their trolley line to Moncrief. This extension led to rapid residential growth in the area. In 1909, a horse racing track was added to the park. Over 6,000 people attended the track's first race event. By 1910, New Yorkers were calling Moncrief the "Belmont of the South" and Jacksonville was being sold as the place to go on vacation.
However, shortly after the track opened in 1909, an antiracing group had been established to abolish gambling and the wrong types of people from coming to Jacksonville. In Spring 1911, the Florida State Senate passed a bill prohibiting all racetrack gambling by an overwhelming vote of 62 to 1.
In 1914, the remnants of Moncrief Park were redeveloped into the neighborhoods straddling Myrtle Avenue and Moncrief Road that exist today.
Moncrief Park Band. Image courtesy of State Archives of Florida.
Lost Jacksonville: Horse Racing at Moncrief Park