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AMH 2070: The History of Florida

Resources from FSCJ Libraries and other online links for Florida History classes.

A City Going Up in Smoke

Courtesy of Florida Memory Project. Click image above for full details.

The Great Fire of 1901

"On the warm morning of May 3rd, 1901, a tragic event was about to change Jacksonville. Around noon, a spark from a small wood-burning cook stove set ablaze some of the Spanish moss laid out to dry at the Cleveland Fiber Factory, located at Union and Davis Streets downtown.
With the aid of a strong westerly wind, the fire soon consumed the shanties that surrounded the factory, and the burning debris jumped along hundreds of wood-shingled rooftops that were already dangerously dry after a prolonged drought." -- From The Jacksonville Historical Society. Click on title for full article.


The Florida Memory Project has put together an exhibit of the Great Fire of 1901 in Jacksonville. To access this exhibit, please click here of on the image above.

The Great Fire of 1901

Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901 was the largest metropolitan fire in the American South. The fire began on May 3, 1901 with a spark from a cook stove at lunchtime which ignited piles of Spanish moss drying for a mattress factory. Located at Davis and Beaver streets, the factory fire spread to most of the downtown area. By 8:30 when the fire was brought under control, 2,368 buildings were destroyed, 10,000 people were homeless and seven residents were dead. The city spent the next decade rebuilding its downtown.

Remains of the courthouse and armory, after the Fire of 1901 - Jacksonville, Florida


Klutho Park


Klutho Park, located at 204 W. Third Street, was originally called Springfield Park. Most of the park was created between 1899 and 1901, from land donated by the Springfield Company, a local developer. The city's first zoo was opened in the park in 1914, followed by the city's first municipal pool in 1922.



Image Courtesy J. Grey, CC BY NC

Henry John Klutho

Born in Illinois, Henry John Klutho studied business in St. Louis, Missouri before becoming interested in architecture and moving to New York City. After reading about the 1901's Great Fire of Jacksonville in the New York Times, he moved south to take advantage of the city's newly blank canvas. You can read a bit about his life and his work in Jacksonville in this post from the Jacksonville Historical Society, or watch the video below in which local architect Robert Broward discusses his book,  The architecture of Henry John Klutho : the Prairie School in Jacksonville.


Portrait of Henry John Klutho, 19--. Image courtesy State Archives of Florida.

Klutho's Work in Jacksonville

Buildings in Jacksonville designed by architect Henry J. Klutho . 19--. Image Courtesy State Archives of Florida.