7 Black Facts About Jax You Didn't Already Know!

February 2, 2016 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

In celebration of Black History Month, here's a few things you probably didn't know about Jacksonville.

5. The Colored Man's Railroad

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Railroading in early Jacksonville was a lot more than Henry Flagler and Henry Plant. on August 22, 1903, the North Jacksonville Street Railway, Town and Improvement Company began streetcar service to Jacksonville's black population. Organized by several prominent members of Jacksonville's black community (R. R. Robinson, H. Mason, F. C. Eleves, Walter P. Mucklow, George E. Ross and Frank P. McDermott), the streetcar system became known as "The Colored Man's Railroad." Hundreds came out for the system's grand opening ceremony to ride on cars operated with black motormen and conductors. Initially, the North Jacksonville Street Railway ran from downtown's Bay Street north on Clay to State and Kings Road before heading north on Myrtle Avenue. It returned to downtown via Moncrief Road through Hansontown. Black ownership ended a few years later when the system was acquired by Telfair Stockton, allowing it to be extended to the Eastside and Talleyrand. Stockton then sold the system to the Jacksonville Electric Company. Despite the change in ownership, the Colored Man's Railroad was heavily utilized by the black community and was among the last routes to be abandoned in December 1936.

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