The Forgotten Rivers of Jacksonville

June 18, 2015 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The St. Johns River isn't the only river in the River City! Today, Metro Jacksonville's Kristen Pickrell takes a look at Jacksonville's other rivers, while sharing interesting facts about each.

5. Ribault River

The Ribault River with Lem Turner Road in the background.

Ribault River is located near New King’s Road, running through Moncrief and into the Trout River. Ribault River has some history, too, as the river is named after French naval officer Jean Ribault. Ribault joined the French navy under the command of Huguenot admiral Gaspard de Coligny, who sent Ribault on an expedition to create a colony in the New World. Ribault left in 1562 to sail across the Atlantic and explore the mouth of what is now the St. John’s River. They continued up to South Carolina, where Ribault then left 27 men under the command of Albert de la Pierria at Charlesfort, and sailed himself back to France.

Ribault was originally supposed to return within the year to Charlesfort with supplies. However, the French Wars of Religions had broken out and Ribault was detained and imprisoned. In 1563, Ribault’s former Litenuiet, Rene Gouldain de Laudonniere, replaced Ribault in the expedition for colonization in North America.

Charlesfort had fallen to mutinay, unfortunately, so Laudonniere founded a new colony in Jacksonville, known still today as Fort Caroline. Ribault would make it back to Florida to take over Ft. Caroline in 1565. Disaster would strike days later, as Pedro Mendez, a commander of the Spanish fleet, attempted to take over the newly found colony. The timing worked in Mendez’s favor, as a hurricane masked his fleet and utterly destroyed Ribault’s. Ribault was killed in the disaster.

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