Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville: The Row  (Read 20026 times)

Tacachale

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7859
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2014, 09:12:09 AM »
FEC definitely didn't put the nail in our coffin. At the time Jax was arguably the most important town in Florida, it was still a small town in one of the most backwoods states. Other areas in the state have leapfrogged us, but the fact is we're a proportionately larger and more prominent city on the nationwide scale now than we were in the early 20th century.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2014, 10:58:24 AM »
Although keep in mind that these census numbers can be misleading because they do not account for the areas that were annexed into jacksonville or the cities that were Consolidated into the City of Greater Jacksonville in 1892.  You can see the fairly large jump between 1890 and 1900 reflect that consolidation (The City of Jacksonville, City of La Villa, City of Oklahoma, Township of Warren etc all consolidated and became "Greater Jacksonville")  I dont think that the Census in 1900 counted the City of South Jacksonville as part of Jville either, but I may be mistaken on that.

We tend to forget that prior to Consolidation, the Census takers and population counters had no reason to believe in organizing numbers in order to align with the future.

Keep in mind that the same applies to the other communities (outside of Key West) as well. For example, Tampa, West Tampa and Ybor City were all separate communities in the 19th century also. Another example is Daytona Beach. Before 1926, there were three cities, Daytona, Seabreeze and Goodall. Nevertheless, none of Florida's cities (suburbs included) were major population centers 100 years ago and Jax and Tampa were never really that far apart (size-wise) until the Bay Area exploded in population in the mid-20th century.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:07:12 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4824
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2014, 11:05:53 AM »
Although keep in mind that these census numbers can be misleading because they do not account for the areas that were annexed into jacksonville or the cities that were Consolidated into the City of Greater Jacksonville in 1892.  You can see the fairly large jump between 1890 and 1900 reflect that consolidation (The City of Jacksonville, City of La Villa, City of Oklahoma, Township of Warren etc all consolidated and became "Greater Jacksonville")  I dont think that the Census in 1900 counted the City of South Jacksonville as part of Jville either, but I may be mistaken on that.

We tend to forget that prior to Consolidation, the Census takers and population counters had no reason to believe in organizing numbers in order to align with the future.

Keep in mind that the same applies to the other communities (outside of Key West) as well. For example, Tampa, West Tampa and Ybor City were all separate communities in the 19th century also. Another example is Daytona Beach. Before 1926, there were three cities, Daytona, Seabreeze and Goodall. Nevertheless, none of Florida's cities (suburbs included) were major population centers 100 years ago and Jax and Tampa were never really that far apart (size-wise) until the Bay Area exploded in population in the mid-20th century.

I'm unaware of any other city in florida besides for miami-dade that annexed its entire county into the consolidated government, surely you'd have to admit this carries the potential for making comparisons of census data from then and now at least somewhat misleading? To be fair you'd have to compare the original areas covered by the early 20th century census data to the data for those same areas later, not just any data that purports to cover the city of Jacksonville, because the definition changed. Otherwise you'll likely have a false appearance of prosperity. Which I suspect is in fact is what has occurred, what was considered the city itself has declined, but by expanding its land boundaries at appears to have increased in population.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:07:59 AM by ChriswUfGator »


thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2014, 11:11:23 AM »
I'm unaware of any other city in florida besides for miami-dade that annexed its entire county into the consolidated government, surely you'd have to admit this carries the potential for making comparisons of census data from then and now at least somewhat misleading? To be fair you'd have to compare the original areas covered by the early 20th century census data to the data for those same areas later, not just any data that purports to cover the city of Jacksonville, because the definition changed. Otherwise you'll likely have a false appearance of prosperity. Which I suspect is in fact is what has occurred, what was considered the city itself has declined, but by expanding its land boundaries at appears to have increased in population.

You'd have to do this for literally every city when comparing Jax, unless you go by urban area statistics.  It's why I take numbers like this with a grain of salt when additional data on whatever is the focus of comparison isn't readily available. Also, Miami isn't consolidated with Miami-Dade County.  It's still a separate city, like many of the others (Hialeah, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, etc.) in Miami-Dade County.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4824
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2014, 11:17:34 AM »
I'm unaware of any other city in florida besides for miami-dade that annexed its entire county into the consolidated government, surely you'd have to admit this carries the potential for making comparisons of census data from then and now at least somewhat misleading? To be fair you'd have to compare the original areas covered by the early 20th century census data to the data for those same areas later, not just any data that purports to cover the city of Jacksonville, because the definition changed. Otherwise you'll likely have a false appearance of prosperity. Which I suspect is in fact is what has occurred, what was considered the city itself has declined, but by expanding its land boundaries at appears to have increased in population.

You'd have to do this for literally every city when comparing Jax, unless you go by urban area statistics.  It's why I take numbers like this with a grain of salt when additional data on whatever is the focus of comparison isn't readily available. Also, Miami isn't consolidated with Miami-Dade County.  It's still a separate city, like many of the others (Hialeah, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, etc.) in Miami-Dade County.

If there are no other cities that consolidated in the fashion we did, doesn't it seem like these kind of comparisons would lead to artificially positive conclusions? As the result of consolidations we are the largest city in the United States by land area, I'd assume we don't disagree that this might skew comparisons of census data that cover "the city of jacksonville"? The point isn't that definitions and boundaries haven't changed in other cities, just that none of them come remotely close to the degree ours have changed.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:19:10 AM by ChriswUfGator »


thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2014, 11:21:03 AM »
True but none of the were the official port of entry into the state of florida.

Another thing that escapes people poring through the records is that the population of people who lived here was very different from the number of people who were actually here.  Because of the Trains, Ships etc, (although, not the roads, if JET Bowden is to be taken seriously by 1914) there was also a daily population far in excess of the people who would have been counted in any census.

For example if you have bordellos, hotels, inns and flop houses with a thousand sailors who are here for a month or so while business is conducted and new deals are made for the next shipment, none of them would have been counted in a census.

This become problematic by 1890, where during half the year the downtown alone hosted 80 thousand additional residents, none of whom would have been counted in census numbers.

And really this is still the reality today.  Florida being a tourist state, there is a definite difference between the number of people who live (and are counted) in Florida and the people who are actually here.  Snowbirds, tourists, etc....  Many millions more.  Census numbers can be tricky that way.

What I have found helpful is to look at the number of hotels, boarding houses, and flop houses that are listed in the city directories in order to get a sense of this.

How do these numbers compare with Pensacola, Key West, and Tampa for example? By 1900, Tampa and its suburbs had a robust cigar manucturing trade, a port and immigrants following in as well. Without having a rational nexus of apples to apples comparable data, I think its hard to make the argument that Jax was significantly larger at the time or significantly more influential than other US cities of similar scale and size during that period. Sure, we were a gateway to Florida (significantly less important in 1900 than 2014) but we were not the only gateway, depending on where said person was traveling from and what their mode of transportation may have been.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2014, 11:30:46 AM »
If there are no other cities that consolidated in the fashion we did, doesn't it seem like these kind of comparisons would lead to artificially positive conclusions? As the result of consolidations we are the largest city in the United States by land area, I'd assume we don't disagree that this might skew comparisons of census data that cover "the city of jacksonville"? The point isn't that definitions and boundaries haven't changed in other cities, just that none of them come remotely close to the degree ours have changed.

Yes. I believe that Jax has always been a second/third tier US city. Even in the years that Jax was considered Florida's big city, it never was significantly larger or more "head & shoulders "influential than some other regions in the state. We had certain things we excelled at and other communities had their assets as well. Flagler and Plant's rail expansion competition benefitted Jax and every other Florida city that didn't get passed by or replaced, like Cedar Key. The growth from their infrastructure investments helped grow business and industry, which resulted in the development of districts like The Row in communities throughout the state.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4824
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2014, 11:39:32 AM »
If there are no other cities that consolidated in the fashion we did, doesn't it seem like these kind of comparisons would lead to artificially positive conclusions? As the result of consolidations we are the largest city in the United States by land area, I'd assume we don't disagree that this might skew comparisons of census data that cover "the city of jacksonville"? The point isn't that definitions and boundaries haven't changed in other cities, just that none of them come remotely close to the degree ours have changed.

Yes. I believe that Jax has always been a second/third tier US city. Even in the years that Jax was considered Florida's big city, it never was significantly larger or more "head & shoulders "influential than some other regions in the state. We had certain things we excelled at and other communities had their assets as well. Flagler and Plant's rail expansion competition benefitted Jax and every other Florida city that didn't get passed by or replaced, like Cedar Key. The growth from their infrastructure investments helped grow business and industry, which resulted in the development of districts like The Row in communities throughout the state.

Except it was in fact the rail and sea transportation hub of the state, which by default led to it being the banking and insurance hub of the state. Allowing us to fall behind in these critical categories, which continues today as we debate the CSX rail extension and whether or not to dredge the channel to allow panamax and post-panamax ships in (something other cities already have done) and simply continues to worsen the problem. If you look at the growth and sustenance of major urban centers, they all follow trade. We decided beginning in the 60s that we didn't like being an industrial town anymore, so let's turn it all into parking lots. The result is as devastating as it was unsurprising. But I think saying we were never the preeminent commercial city in the state is simply whitewashing the past to make the present feel less gloomy. We absolutely were.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 11:41:22 AM by ChriswUfGator »


thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2014, 12:03:28 PM »
I'm unaware of any other city in florida besides for miami-dade that annexed its entire county into the consolidated government, surely you'd have to admit this carries the potential for making comparisons of census data from then and now at least somewhat misleading? To be fair you'd have to compare the original areas covered by the early 20th century census data to the data for those same areas later, not just any data that purports to cover the city of Jacksonville, because the definition changed. Otherwise you'll likely have a false appearance of prosperity. Which I suspect is in fact is what has occurred, what was considered the city itself has declined, but by expanding its land boundaries at appears to have increased in population.

You'd have to do this for literally every city when comparing Jax, unless you go by urban area statistics.  It's why I take numbers like this with a grain of salter when additional data on whatever is the focus of comparison isn't present. Also, Miami isn't consolidated with Miami-Dade County.  It's still a separate city, like many of the others (Hialeah, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miami Gardens, etc.) in Miami-Dade County.

This kind of makes the point that cherry picking a few isolated areas for comparison in census charts that no longer represent the geography arent useful unless looked at in context to the time.

You are taking the grain of salt with the wrong bits of information.

If you had taken the numbers from a census in south carolina in 1860, for instance, where there were a disproportionately large number of slaves, you would only have 60 percent of the actual population. *3/5s rule Dred Scott Decision.

This doesnt mean that there were fewer people there.

I'm basically claiming that they all were pretty insignificant (outside of a regional basis) and of similar scale. In the grand scheme of things, adding 2,000 people from a LaVilla or West Tampa during a 1880s consolidation doesn't amount to much.  No matter what data we use, population range isn't going to jumb from small town in rural state to large city in an urban state. I don't have the numbers in front of me at the moment, but it would be interesting to see county data from that time period, as well as the original metropolitan and urban area numbers when they started being tracked.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2014, 12:05:27 PM »
LaVilla, Brooklyn, South Jacksonville, and Jacksonville were so close that its very misleading to separate them.  It would be more accurate to say that in 1870, the SouthEast portion of what is now Downtown Jacksonville had a white population of 6,912, since that is what those numbers represent.

LaVilla, Brooklyn and South Jacksonville probably had 10-15k people combined in 1930.  They were significantly smaller around the time of the Great Fire.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #40 on: May 10, 2014, 12:40:57 PM »
Tampas merchants directly competed with Jacksonville's and no doubt had many more migrant workers from Puerto Rico and the islands than are counted for in the census numbers.  Im not as acquainted with Tampa history, but it would have been pretty crucial to the gulf based nature of the spanish colonial empire.  With an east coast orientation of the United States and the Atlantic predisposition of the English, Jacksonville naturally became more important.

The Steamships, Naval Vessels and Railroads are what provided the economic engine for the city, but the Bordellos and the Carny folk are what created Florida Tourism, and that changed the nature of the city and then the state.

Much of my family is from Tampa, so I'm pretty familiar with the area and its history.

Tampa was similar to Birmingham. A place that initally grew very quickly due to industry. In Tampa's case, the arrival of Plant's railroad, the discovery of phosphate, and Vicente M. Ybor deciding to build a cigar manufacturing town a mile north all happened in the 1880s. Its port is still Florida's largest by tonnage, due to the region's phosphate and citrus industries. Being on the coast, it was and still is a shipbuilding center (probably moreso than we are today).

The cigar industry peaked around 1929 before Jax's Swisher put the clamps on it via mechanization of the manufacturing process. The cigar industry attracted immigrants mainly from Cuba, Spain, Italy, and Eastern Europe. Even today, you can see this through the architecture of neighborhoods such as West Tampa, Palmetto Beach and Ybor. That atmosphere also led to it being a center of organized crime for much of the 20th century.

Like Flagler, Plant opened hotels as well, including the 500 room Tampa Bay Hotel (now University of Tampa) in 1891. It was also the state's embarkation center for American troops during the Spanish-American War. Unlike Jax, other cities with their own economies were growing "nearby" as well. For example, St. Petersburg was incoporated in 1892 and quickly became a retirement and tourism center. There's also places like Tarpon Springs, which attracted Greek immigrants in the early 20th century to work in the sponge industry. Close in proximity, over the years, all of these places have grown into each other and are now one major urban area, despite maintaining their status as seperate municipalities.

Locally, we tend to overlook this area at times, probably due to it being on a different coast and Plant being the guy, instead of Flagler. However, it has a lot of similarities with early 20th century Jax. The major differences being the industries of each region and cluster of nearby cities (Tampa had/still has a ton, Jax, not so much).
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2014, 12:56:42 PM »
LaVilla, Brooklyn, South Jacksonville, and Jacksonville were so close that its very misleading to separate them.  It would be more accurate to say that in 1870, the SouthEast portion of what is now Downtown Jacksonville had a white population of 6,912, since that is what those numbers represent.

LaVilla, Brooklyn and South Jacksonville probably had 10-15k people combined in 1930.  They were significantly smaller around the time of the Great Fire.

In 1935?  you mean after the Great Migration of 1916?  Well nothing to argue about there. ;)

All Jax census numbers after 1890, also include LaVilla and Brooklyn. Neither had more than 2-3k residents when originally annexed into Jax. When South Jax was annexed into Jax during the 1930s, it barely had 5k. Same goes for Murray Hill in 1925. In fact, part of the reason for annexing Murray Hill was to keep Tampa from becoming the state's largest city (Jax would resolve this by eventually consolidating with Duval County). While separate municipalities during this era, all of these Duval County towns were small and pretty insignificant, in the grand scheme of things. Despite all those pre-1968 mergers, both the actual cities of Tampa and Miami (not counting the other cities adjacent to them) still caught and surpassed Jax in population by 1960.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »
The Port of Jacksonville was established as an official US port of Entry in the 1830s.  Tampa's designation for the US Port of Entry was almost a hundred years later, as it turns out, and the place didnt really grow until phosphates were discovered there in the 1890s. 

And Chris is quite right, the port designation brought about the immediate development of both banking and insurance,.  Ossian Hart himself was on the charter boards of the larger concerns

The port could have been established in 1600. The date really doesn't matter. My point is that Jax was a small place (everything in Duval County included) and not much larger/influential than other areas of similar size during the late 19th and early 20th century. If anything, we were a leader among a peer group of larger towns in, what was then the South's least populated state.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31611
    • Modern Cities
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2014, 01:25:13 PM »
Except it was in fact the rail and sea transportation hub of the state, which by default led to it being the banking and insurance hub of the state.

We're still the rail hub and will be for quite some time, since the infrastructure is here. Give me the years of us being the sea transportation hub of the state. My guess is we lost that status probably lost that status over 80 years ago and even when we had it, one of our feet had a banana peel under it. Miami is an international banking center now, due to it being a gateway to Latin America but there's not much we could have done locally to keep the banking and insurance industry from consolidating in the 80s and 90s. It's hard to blame Jax when a Charlotte-based bank decides to purchase the hometown company and eliminate those duplicate back office operations.

Quote
Allowing us to fall behind in these critical categories, which continues today as we debate the CSX rail extension and whether or not to dredge the channel to allow panamax and post-panamax ships in (something other cities already have done) and simply continues to worsen the problem.

Our port was surpassed a century ago. Even Savannah's port drawfs ours but that doesn't mean that it's a more influential or economically sound community than us.  We'll never be number one in everything and the reality is, even if we do dredge, that doesn't mean post panamax ships will flock here.  With that said, I do agree that we've continually shoot ourselves in the foot over the last century........which is another reason I don't believe Flagler was the nail in Jax's coffin. Moving here from elsewhere, to me, Jax is a place that wants to grow up but has no idea of how or what path it should take...so nothing gets done and it just falls further behind.

Quote
If you look at the growth and sustenance of major urban centers, they all follow trade. We decided beginning in the 60s that we didn't like being an industrial town anymore, so let's turn it all into parking lots. The result is as devastating as it was unsurprising.

That industry didn't leave. It relocated to other areas of town. Like every other industrial city, the number of residents working in manufacturing jobs has declined (and will continue to do so) as technology advances. However, the elimination of it in downtown, did negatively impact the Northbank and we did not do ourselves any favors playing Godzilla.

Quote
But I think saying we were never the preeminent commercial city in the state is simply whitewashing the past to make the present feel less gloomy. We absolutely were.

I'm not whitewashing anything. It's just a fallacy to be sitting around believing Jax was some sort of grand poobah of commerce that drawfed everything else in Florida for decades. That's simply not true. We had (and still do) some areas we excell at. Other communities did (and still do) today as well. It's up to us to better utilize our assets for future growth and economic prosperity and I'll agree that we've done a horrible job at that.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4824
Re: Lost Jacksonville: The Row
« Reply #44 on: May 10, 2014, 01:33:13 PM »
meh.  you havent made much of a case for your final sentence in this last post.  Random citations of imperfectly recorded, partial census figures and thats about it.

+1

That's a lot of conclusion for no directly comparable data.