The Rise & Fall of a Jax F500 Company: Charter Company

June 1, 2015 13 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Nearly 40 years ago, “The Charter Company” and “Mason” were some of the most popular, well-known names in Jacksonville. While they likely don’t ring many bells for Jacksonville’s most recent generations, the company’s nearly 30 year run impacted Jacksonville in many ways—some of which still resonate today, despite Charter Company’s lack of presence.

Du Pont Estate:

For many years, Mason operated Charter out of his Epping Forest boathouse. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida.

Known today as the Epping Forest Yacht club, this 58-acre estate used to belong to the du Pont family. Mason was a good friend of the family, and bought the estate himself in 1972.

The estate can be recognized in the film world, as it has been used as a location in many movies. The estate can also be recognized in the history world, as it was used as the meeting ground for a meeting held in 1975 between President for and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Mason said the estate was in a good location because it was across the Naval Station and along the St. John’s. Mason sold the estate to Herbert Peyton in 1984.

The Charter Legacy:

During Charter's heyday, the company's offices were located in the Universal-Marion Building.

The Charter Company was known as being one of the best companies to work for. Mason put a lot of time into who he hired, making sure he had smart, skilled, efficient people behind his company. He also would send his employees all over the world for business travel.

Mason himself gave a lot to Jacksonville as a whole, too. Mason continued to effect the economy, even after bankruptcy, because many of the people Mason trained continued to work and flourish in Jacksonville. Mason also gave to a lot of charities and companies over the years, including what is now UF Health Jacksonville.

Article by Kristen Pickrell.

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