5 Forgotten Facts About Jax

April 6, 2015 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Some say we forget over time because new experiences overwrite connections to old memories. However, those old memories remain buried down in there. Here's 5 forgotten interesting facts from Jacksonville's past.

The Motor City of Florida? Ford wasn't the first auto sssembly plant in Jax

If not for the untimely death of Henry Innes, Jacksonville could have blossomed as a major southern automobile manufacturing center. Most marvel at the ruins of Henry Ford's automobile assembly plant under the Mathews Bridge. However, very few know that another Michigander discovered Jacksonville before Ford and that his building still stands....at least temporarily. American Motor Export Company opened in Durkeeville in 1921, three years before Ford's plant, to manufacture the Innes Automobile.

Before coming to Florida, Innes spent time working with the Dodge brothers on the first Dodge car, on the management staff of William Durant's General Motors and Chevrolet, and served briefly as the vice president of Doble-Detroit Steam Motors Company.

Determined to finally launch his own luxury vehicle brand, Innes selected Jacksonville for the site of his operation. Unfortunately, Innes died right after the completion of his Fairfax Street factory. When he died, only six automobiles had been manufactured. His assembly plant, which is just as impressive as Ford's is currently be eyed by code enforcement for demolition.

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