5 Reasons for Jacksonville's Smell

October 12, 2015 17 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Central Florida papers once described Jacksonville as an industrial city that sweats, and pretty much smells that way. This is a city that could use a shot of municipal-strength deodorant. On the other hand, local advocates countered that the city's rotten egg stench was the "smell of money". Here's a look back at the five places that once gave the city an image it's still trying to rid itself of.

3. Jefferson Smurfit

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, https://floridamemory.com/items/show/246471

Sam Kipnis, a Russian Jewish immigrant, established the National Container Corporation kraft paper mill on Talleyrand Avenue in 1938.

During the early 1950s, National Container considered expanding the mill. However, the company ultimately chose to open a new mill outside of Valdosta, GA. That mill began operations in 1954.

National Container had become America's third largest box maker by the time it was purchased by Owens-Illinois in 1956. In 1958, the Talleyrand mill employed 1,057 workers.

Under court order to divest, Owens-Illinois sold the Talleyrand mill to Alton Box Board Company in 1965. In 1981, Jefferson Smurfit completed their takeover of the Alton Box Board Company.

The merger of Jefferson Smurfit and Stone Container in 1998 would be the downfall of the mill. The merger led to the removal of 1.1 million tons of capacity of duplicate operations. The Jacksonville mill, along with others in Circleville, OH, Alton, IL and Port Wentworth, GA were indefinitely shut down by years end.

The mill that produced the rancid smell that once blanketed the urban core was no more.

Keystone Properties, LLC began developing its 110-acre deep water port on the former site of Jefferson Smurfit mill in January 2006, and today moves approximately 1.5 million tons of dry bulk products through the terminal annually on behalf of multiple customers. Courtesy of Keystone Properties, LLC.

The Keystone Jacksonville Terminal began operations 2011 at the abandoned paper mill site.  The approximately 110-acre tract on the St. Johns River, which will eventually employ 200, receives imported coal, petroleum Coke and other bulk materials which are supplied to Keystone's customers by truck, rail or barge.  Keystone's first customer was Vulcan Materials Company, which signed a 20-year lease for 10 acres at the terminal.

Stop by Metro Jacksonville's Book Launch Party at 6pm today at San Marco Bookstore learn more about Jacksonville's modern history. Click HERE for more information.

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