7 Cool Facts About DT Jax You Probably Didn't Know!

July 20, 2015 5 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

So you thought you knew Jacksonville? Here's a few long lost facts about downtown that will have you wondering what else is out there that you don't know.

1. McCoys Creek culvert

The McCoys Creek tunnel during the 1930s.

During the city's early years, McCoys Creek was known as the "biggest swamp in any city the size of Jacksonville in the world." It flooded the nearby railyards on a regular basis and its stagnate water had already proven deadly with the Yellow Fever Outbreak of 1857.

In 1930, the wild meandering waterway was channelized in order to control and to promote commerce, becoming an inland waterway for sport boating and barges.

Sanborn map of the channelized McCoys Creek.

Sanborn map of the channelized McCoys Creek.

In addition, a new channel and block long culvert were constructed to divert the waterway away from the Jacksonville Terminal Company's railyards. The original culvert is a brick arch that once stretched under industry in the vicinity of the Riverside viaduct. During the mid-20th century, this culvert was extended where the Florida Times-Union now stands.

Most who travel Riverside Avenue from Brooklyn to downtown never realize what lies beneath. One can only imagine the potential of this subterranean stretch of waterway in the heart of a revitalized downtown.

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