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.

6. Broward River

a brief video of a drive across the Old Broward River Bridge in 2010 courtesy of Frank Rey at

One end of the Broward is located near Heckscher Drive, where it meets the St. John’s River. The river runs to a split between Main St and I-95. One side of the fork goes north and runs into Little Cedar Creek, the other ends near Biscayne Boulevard, running in to Cedar Creek.

Like many of the rivers, Broward River is no exception when it comes to a history lesson. Broward River is named after Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Florida’s 19th governor. Prior to the Spanish-American War, Broward wasn’t involved in politics, and was only really known for this steam tug, because he used it to smuggle arms to Cuban revolutionaries. However, in 1889, he entered the political scene as sheriff of Duval County, and would remain sheriff through the 1892 and 1896 elections. In 1900, he served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, and in 1904, he won the election for Governor’s Office.

During Broward’s tenure as governor, he oversaw the start of the Everglades draining/development, the Choctawhatchee National Forest was founded, and the state’s institutions of higher learning was incorporated at UF, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes, and the Florida State College for Women. Broward would be elected to the Senate after his tenure, but unfortunately passed away before taking his seat.

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