Author Topic: Exploring Ortega  (Read 9133 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Exploring Ortega
« on: February 14, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Exploring Ortega



Ortega is a historic neighborhood known for its giant oak trees, waterfront mansions, and parks located just south of Riverside/Avondale.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/713

walter

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 09:26:29 AM »
that Machine Gun Kelley house is really cool and the people who live there.... damn fine folk! If I must say so myself... ;D

Ocklawaha

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 10:08:45 AM »
Wow what cool photos of a beautiful neighborhood. I sure wish we could locate that streetcar route from the Baltic Shopping area to Camp Johnston (NAS JAX). Later paperwork suggests it made it to Blacks Point on the base, Of course by that time, the whole of Jacksonville Traction/Ortega Traction was on the brink. In the scene of the bridge being in the up position, one can still make out the under grating supports for the running rails. Every now and then when a small piece of the asphalt lets loose, the rails dare show themselves to our bus crazed city.

By the way, the first dirt I ever touched was in the yard of our little family craftsman style home, right around the corner on Baltic from the shopping center.  Although Ortega is a "long time ago" story, it remains "Home" to me. In fact everything about Ortega is just a few hundred years ago. Not unlike Mandarin, or San Marco, I often question if Jacksonville has Ortega or if indeed, Ortega just happens to own a pet Jacksonville?


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billy

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 10:31:51 AM »
Florida Yacht Club, baby!

downtownparks

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 11:00:13 AM »
Ock, have you tried the Sanborn maps?

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2008, 11:38:29 AM »
Yes, at least the ones the library said they use. They only had the street detail but no car lines. Interesting, since every other city I have ever seen has their car lines and railroad tracks, switches and spurs in high detail. Makes me wonder if there is another set or another series that I haven't seen??? If any of you come across any with car lines on them, let me know.

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downtownparks

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2008, 11:48:23 AM »
I just went back and looked. It shows industrial rail, but not street cars.

thelakelander

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 12:03:03 PM »
Try the Jax Historical Society.  When the Jacksonville Story website was up a few years ago, it had streetcar maps on it.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

downtownparks

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2008, 02:38:05 PM »
Joel McKeachen from the city planning office has two maps. I am looking to see if he can send me a digital copy, or if I have to go down there.

DemocraticNole

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2008, 05:45:11 PM »
This is such a beautiful area. My church (St. Mark's Episcopal) is pictured on there. There are still a lot of old money families that live in Ortega. The only complaint I would have about the area is that it is not pedestrian friendly.

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A Great Loss
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 10:26:15 PM »
Like Petersons 5 and 10 store at 5-Points, there was once a treasure at Baltic and the old Ortega Village Shops. Just off Baltic past the front of the shops and to the right was once the coolest "toy store" in the State of Florida. I wasn't old enough to know who owned this mini-wonderland but they were decades ahead of their time! When everyone else was moving toward plastic sacks of cars or soldiers, Barbie and Ken, this place specialized in those seldom seen European gadget toys. They had stamped tin roller-coasters over two feet tall. Little metal cars would climb a long ladder then fly through a course that one could only dream was real. They also had all of the other items so rare even in the 1950/60's Florida. Steam toy's, little tractors, and road graders, and kitchens that made even the little boys want to open their own restaurant! Wonder what ever happened to some of these wonderful places, and if though has ever been given to recreating a few of them? It was great fun while it lasted. Then there was the bigger shopping that took place in Fairfax Village. Big drug stores and grocerys and such. For burgers it was Milligan's. Our own home grown "Krystal" or "White Castle" the remains of which still stand North of Fishweir Creek, and elsewhere in town, They look like closed dairy stores. NOT! Tiny little Milligan Burgers 5 Cents Each.

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avonjax

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2008, 10:33:29 PM »
I miss Milligans! I used to work at a shoe store in Gateway and there was a Milligans on Golfair. There was also one on Lem Turner at the Soutel intersection.

DemocraticNole

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2008, 12:34:05 AM »
Here is a nice photograph of the southern entrance to Ortega. This is the corner of Roosevelt Blvd. and Timuquana Road from September 7, 1954:

This is looking north. Ortega Blvd. is in the upper right corner.

fsujax

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Re: Exploring Ortega
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2008, 08:09:23 AM »
Florida Yacht Club, baby!
One of the best neighborhoods in Jax, I always make sure to take visitors for a drive through Ortega.  Don't forget about the Timuquana Country Club!

fpj

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Re: Exploring Ortega / Street Car Lines
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2008, 10:16:45 AM »
Knocks cobwebs out of head: the Riverside line ended at Aberdeen Street (the brick street in Riverside that is all wobbly lol) The Ortega line opened in 1908 and from Aberdeen it went out down Plaza/Herschel and across Fishweir Creek where it then ran along the east side of Herschel (where all that parking is now) to San Juan Avenue.  It turned and ran along the north side of San Juan to the bridge (btw, the draw bridge was renovated about 10 or so years ago and the lift spans and bridge tender cabins were replaced so I don't think those are street car track supports there) and then it ran down the median of Grand Street and turned down Baltic and terminated around Ortega Village where the pharmacy is now.  It was extended during World War I to Camp Johnston along Ortega Blvd and Orange Park Road and ended in a loop in the camp.  The Camp Johnston extension saw little traffic after the war and eventually the traction company ran only two round trips a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, until it was abandoned around 1926.  The Riverside lines were among the first abandoned after 1932 so the rails were pulled up almost immediately but with a lot of street renovations people are still finding ties under the roads.

FPJ

ps
You could see the rails in the old Acosta Bridge when the paving wore away.  This was part of the South Jacksonville line that ran over the bridge.  It started in St. Nicholas around Bishop Kenny High School which at the time was the Merrill Stevens Shipyards (yes, the Merrill of Merrill Lynch, another story another time).  It  went along Atlantic to Hendricks and turned on Miami Road (now Prudential Drive) and zipped over the river to the Riverside Viaduct and then downtown where it looped at Bay and Main.   Back in the heyday (1923~1926) the lines ran from the Cummer Lumber Mill (yes, that Cummer) on the north to Camp Johnson on the south.  To the west they ran to the Seaboard Air Line shops on McDuff and Warrington as well as to the Florida Military Academy on Edgewood near Corby, and to a race track at 21st and Myrtle.  To the east they ran all the way to Talleyrand Avenue, crisscrossing the city.  They even had their own power station where the T-U now sits.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2008, 12:12:42 AM by fpj »