Author Topic: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built  (Read 6313 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« on: October 19, 2015, 06:10:02 AM »

JaxJersey-licious

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 12:08:44 PM »
Wonderful story about a town rich in history but sort of overlooked because of the historical significance of St. Augustine. Several other gems of the area worth mentioning is the County Line grocery store on the East Palatka border that sells fresh produce from their very own farms at great prices (closes seasonally however). Also they also hold a big potato and cabbage festival every year at the old football field of the closed high school. There was also a factory that made these crunchy spicy datil pepper flavored kettle-cooked potato chips sold at County Line which name escapes me but the factory used to give out tours.

Back in the 90's my office in St. Augustine had a social service outpost at the old high school I would occasionally man so these pictures bring back some great memories when a co-worker and I would just go exploring the town for the hell of it, but back then there was so much promise for the area especially after they widened SR 207.

I always thought back then that if downtown Jacksonville would truly come back to life and they decided to have commuter rail established through Clay County to Palatka, the area south and west of Hastings would make for an excellent affordable bedroom community, a combination of Mandarin and Palm Coast, given the new elementary and high school that was just created at the time.

Fortunately the powers that be in St. Johns County have a cooler head concerning sprawl keeping most of the growth in the north, turning down new massive housing developments in the south, and I guess, just let Hastings be Hastings.   

Ocklawaha

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2015, 06:06:36 PM »

Here's a better shot of the train station at Hastings, the old LCL ramp and the depot passenger platforms are still intact where Main Street crossed the tracks.


Do yourself a huge favor and try a taste of Hastings at Johnny and Beanie’s Kitchen. This place is at 224 North Main Street and it's only open for breakfast and lunch, but there's more... The sign say's; "In a restaurant you order what you want, at Johnny and Beanies you eat what we cook!" Seriously there are usually 3 or so main courses and a dozen or so sides to choose from, (as much as possible) everything on the menu was/is fresh from the fields and farms. The little hole-in-the-wall rates 4.5 stars on Yelp for good reason and you'll be lucky to get a seat if you show up right at noon. By itself, this is EVERY reason for you to visit Hastings. https://johnnyandbeanie.wordpress.com

Here's a bit more of the railroad history from my book 'The Streetcars of Florida's First Coast.'






Redbaron616

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 12:44:12 AM »
Thanks for the article. Was wondering why picture 6 didn't have a caption. Looked like a church, so it seems to have been fairly easy to identify. Great information overall.

jaxboy

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 08:56:59 AM »
I seem to recall that the wonderful potato chips made there in Hastings went by the brand name of "Bull Chips". I miss those things. They were really good.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2016, 11:47:38 AM »
Anybody tried the restaurant yet? I'm telling you it isn't anything usual, and well worth the trip right back to 1940.

JaxJersey-licious

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2016, 01:50:10 PM »
I seem to recall that the wonderful potato chips made there in Hastings went by the brand name of "Bull Chips". I miss those things. They were really good.

Yeah, that's the name! Wonder if they still make 'em.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 02:06:20 PM »
Anybody tried the restaurant yet? I'm telling you it isn't anything usual, and well worth the trip right back to 1940.

I've eaten there quite a bit.  There's a millwork shop just past it, before the tracks, that I did quite a bit of work for.  It's solid soul-food, I'd say it's on par with Ardens.  Not worth the drive, but totally worth it if you're already there.

The other 'option' in the area was a small kitchen in the truckstop just up 207 @ Dancy.  You'd shit non-stop for the rest of the day, but those fried gizzards & okra were worth it.  Pretty sure they used not only the same recipe that those two sweet ladies grew up with (both in their mid/late 60s), but they were probably still using the same grease passed down from their mom as well... 
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thelakelander

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 10:07:07 PM »
Struggling Hastings, Potato Capital of Florida, might soon vote town out of existence
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-09-30/struggling-hastings-potato-capital-florida-might-soon-vote-town-out-existence
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

lastdaysoffla

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 07:20:01 PM »

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 10:48:32 AM »
I'm curious about the dynamics involved in dissolution.   Seems like a smart move if the finances weren't there to sustain the town.  Still kind of sad.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Hastings: The Forgotten City The Railroad Built
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2019, 09:57:42 AM »
One possible transportation solution that could inject some life into the old downtown would be to link the north end of Main Street with SR-13 somewhere around SR13 and 13A. This would funnel traffic down Main Street to the light at 207.

In the process it could be elevated through some of the Deep Creek conservation area, offering much needed park space, nature trails, picnic area, fishing/boating access etc.