Exploring the First Coast: Macclenny

August 13, 2015 10 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville visits the downtown of a small town community just outside of our city limits: Macclenny.



College Street

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Heritage Park Village

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Home to Macclenny's 1924 railroad depot, Heritage Park Village is one of the most interesting public spaces in Northeast Florida. The 3.5-acre park includes a collection of preserved structures and artifacts that spans 150 years of Macclenny's history.

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Baker County residents banded together to save Maclenny's historic railroad depot in 1986 when the Seaboard Railroad announced its intention to demolish the structure. The property it was relocated to eventually became Heritage Park Village.

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The Blue Haven Restaurant opened in 1947 and was Baker County's first drive-in restaurant. Paul Rhoden's Rexal drug store operated from the 1940s until 1993. Memorabilia from these businesses' heyday are housed inside these structures.

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Knabb Turpentine was once the country's largest turpentine operation of its kind. During the Knabb family's heyday, the business worked 50,000 acres of slash pine.

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The Burnsed Blockhouse is the last example of original block house architecture remaining in Florida. One of a series of block house structures, it was constructed across the north Florida frontier by order of then Governor Andrew Jackson. Block houses acted as protective fortresses for settlers against raiding parties of Seminole Indians who were on the war path across Florida at that time.

Article and photographs by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com



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