01 Sep 2016

Ribault Monument



“The Ribault Monument, the highest point in Duval County. It’s near Fort Caroline Road and on a clear day you can see Mayport Naval Base and all its ships. At one time this monument was at Mayport. My blind friend Carl Bolton is standing there”  LS

The Ribault Monument is part of Fort Caroline National Memorial and commemorates the landing of Jean Ribault near the mouth of the St. Johns River in 1562. In 1924 the Florida Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution had a piece of land donated near Mayport for the monument designed by Charles Adrian Pillars who also created the Life sculpture in Jacksonville’s Memorial Park as well as the statues of Edmund Kirby Smith and John Gorrie which stand in the statuary hall in the Capitol building in Washington, DC. When Naval Station Mayport was established in 1941 the public could no longer get access to the monument so it was moved several times until it ended up at it’s current location on St. Johns Bluff overlooking the St. Johns River in 1958. This photo is undated.


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24 Aug 2016

Tough Little Truck



“The Grimland Toy company made these little toy trucks. They were so well designed that you could stand on them without crushing them. They were made of aluminum and very well made. They were burned out of business in the 1950’s. Too bad.” LS

I’ve been unable to find out much about the Grimland Toy Company. There are few listings online and most of what I have seen are the same moving van model with a few different moving companies represented. I found one reference on a listing that they were made both in Marietta, Georgia & Jacksonville, Florida and most posts simply say they are very rare. This appears to be a photo shot for an advertisement for the company.


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13 Jul 2016

Teen Town Building



“This is the Teen Town Club Building on the corner of State and Liberty Streets.  It was a very active place in the late 40’s.  Later it was torn down to make way for the Jacksonville Recreation Department parking lot which it still is today.”  LS

Information about this art deco inspired building was not easy to come by. It appears to have been initially built as an annex for the 1916 Duval County Armory building which faces North Market Street and the corner of that building can be seen in the left side of the photograph. Over the doorway of this building that was located at the corner of State Street East and Liberty Street it says Duval County Armory. In 1973 the old Armory building was turned over to the city’s Recreation and Public Affairs Department. The sign in front of the building says This Is Teen Town, A City Within A City, Operated By Youth For Youth. I reached out to Brian Burket, the Natural Resources Recreation Specialist with JaxParks and he shared what he could find. “ I scanned through our files and only see a few references to “Teen Town” that state during the 1940’s and 50’s, the Woman’s Club of Jacksonville opened Teen Town in the old armory which sponsored dances and other activities for the city’s youth. However, it seems clear from your photo that this was a separate building immediately east of the Armory but I can’t find any information about another building on this site.”

The old Armory Building is still standing but at some point this structure was demolished and the property remains vacant. I welcome any additional information that anyone can share to help fill in the gaps in this building’s history.


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21 Jun 2016

1950’s View of Old Courthouse



Looking South from East Monroe Street at the back of the 1902 Duval County Courthouse building with the it’s 1914 addition to the right. North Market Street runs down the left side of the photograph. On the right side of the photograph appear to be residential structures that would be behind the Morocco Temple. The building jutting into the parking lot on the left is the still standing Burbridge Realty Co. building which fronts East Adams Street. The original courthouse building with the cupola was demolished when the 1958 Duval County Courthouse on East Bay Street was opened. The 1914 addition remains standing with additional wings added along East Forsyth Street to make up the Claude Yates Building which houses city offices. A parking garage on East Adams Street now covers the back of the Yates Building.



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11 May 2016

Carter Buick Garage, 1947



This image shows the art deco influenced exterior of the Carter Buick Garage that was located at Ocean and Ashley Streets in downtown Jacksonville. This was photographed in 1947 by Loyd Sandgren. The original print is a contact print from an 8X10 inch negative. According to the photographer’s note the building was torn down in the 1960’s.  Part of the note states that the building had previously been used as a movie studio when Jacksonville was a booming silent film production center but I am having difficulty confirming this. I will update the post when I have additional information.


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12 Apr 2016

Downtown Parking at Adams and Pearl Street



Looking Northeast from across West Adams Street at the intersection of Pearl Street in downtown Jacksonville. To the left in the background is the St. Johns apartment building which is still standing and renamed the Residences at City Place. The Federal Courthouse building built in 1933,  which also contained a post office, can be seen in front of that and now functions as the State Attorney’s Offices. Across the street on the portion of the block not occupied by a parking lot is the Hotel George Washington which was built in 1926 and demolished in 1973. That lot is now completely cleared. The photograph would have been taken from a building that was located where a parking garage across Adams Street from the new Duval County Courthouse now stands.

The note that Loyd Sandgren left with this image dated it as 1950 which should be correct. Often the cars in the photographs can give the best clues as to the year that the photographs are taken. In this case there are only a couple of cars in the entire image that don’t have split windshields and around 1950 was when the first wraparound glass windshields started to appear. By the mid 1950’s, with a few exceptions, split windshields were history in new cars.


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29 Mar 2016

Jacksonville’s Transforming Waterfront, 1957



This is an image of the East side of the downtown Jacksonville waterfront as the area was making the transition from a working waterfront covered with piers and warehouses over the St. Johns River to the one we have today with bulkheaded banks and infill. Here the section of the river bank just East of the Main Street Bridge appears to be in the final phase of being bulkheaded and filled. the Duval County Courthouse on East Bay Street is to the far right and still under construction. It opened in 1958. Warehouses on docks remain between the newly created bulkhead and the Courthouse. The dome of the old Courthouse which was built after the 1901 fire can still be seen in the background. That building was demolished in 1960. This would have been photographed from the Main Street Bridge and according to the note on the back of the print, the photograph was taken March 7, 1957. The original print is in rough condition and the image is not terribly sharp but the moment in Jacksonville’s history captured by photographer Loyd Sandgren overrides those shortcomings.


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09 Mar 2016

1950 Grapefruit League Pennant in Hemming Park



“1950, This picture was taken in Hemming Park downtown. The banner was given to the Major League Baseball team that won the most games in Florida.  Mr. Harold Colee was president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.” LS

Cross referencing photographs in the Florida State Archives it appears that the gentleman on the right was Mr. Colee. I’m at a bit of a loss as to why this pennant was brought to Jacksonville. I contacted Nick Gandy with the Florida Sports Foundation hoping he could shed a little light on this. According to Gandy, in 1950 there were 10 of the 16 Major League Baseball teams holding their spring training in Florida. They were the Boston Braves (Bradenton); Boston Red Sox (Sarasota); Detroit Tigers (Lakeland); Washington Senators (Orlando); New York Yankees (St. Petersburg); Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater); St. Louis Cardinals (St. Petersburg); Philadelphia Athletics (West Palm Beach); Cincinnati Reds (Tampa); Brooklyn Dodgers (Vero Beach). The other six teams, St. Louis Browns, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs were elsewhere. He speculated that it was simply a promotional stop to bring attention to the teams holding their training in the state. Jacksonville did not host any teams in 1950 and the only team in town was the Jacksonville Tars, an unaffiliated minor league club with a loosing record. It was not until 1953 that Samuel Wolfson bought the Tars and replaced them with the Jacksonville Braves, the Class A affiliate of the newly relocated Milwaukee Braves.

Jacksonville does have the distinction of being the first Florida town to host spring training for Major League Baseball. In 1888 the Washington Nationals came to Jacksonville, traveling the farthest south any team had previously traveled, to prepare for the upcoming season. After the 48-86 season that followed, it was another 15 years before Major League Baseball returned to the state of Florida. An extended history of the Grapefruit League can be found at the Florida Grapefruit League website.

I have not found any record of who won the Grapefruit League Pennant in 1950 but later that year the New York Yankees won the World Series.


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23 Feb 2016

1960’s Harlem Globetrotters Visit To Jacksonville



With the Harlem Globetrotters coming to Jacksonville this week I thought this might be a good time to post this image from the Loyd Sandgren collection. There was no information attached to the print but I would date it from the early 1960’s and say it was shot in the old Jacksonville Coliseum. It looks like members of the team were having a meet and greet with local children. I contacted Scott Johnson, the Director of Public Relations for the Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. and shared this image with him to see if he could shed a little light on the photograph shortly after the death of Globetrotter legend Meadowlark Lemon. He was able to tell me that Lemon was not in the photograph and that the fourth player from the left is most likely Geese Ausbie who signed with the team in 1961 and played over 10,000 games with the Globetrotters in addition to holding different positions within the organization during his tenure with the team.

I also stumbled across a recent editorial by retired Globetrotter Curley Neal that appeared in USA Today this week, reflecting on the 90 year history of the team. He had a particularly poignant Jacksonville story which is worth sharing.

I can still remember hearing the story from the great Tex Harrison. Fifty-nine years ago, the Harlem Globetrotters had just played in front of 18,000 fans in northern Florida — most of them white — and tried to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant. The restaurant wouldn’t let the team in. Wouldn’t serve them. They went to a hotel next. They were turned away. Later, they found out that a performing chimpanzee sponsored by a local bowling alley got a big fancy suite.

 Here they were, the Harlem Globetrotters, America’s most famous basketball team, unable to eat a meal or stay in a hotel room in Jacksonville.”  

The complete editorial can be found here.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/22/harlem-globetrotters-black-history-month-racial-barriers-discrimination-column/80703798/


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09 Feb 2016

The Many Incarnations of 1037 Park Street



Show in this 1950’s image with the single longest running tenant, F.W. Woolworth Co., this building at 1037 Park Street in the historic 5-Points shopping district of Jacksonville has been the home of numerous businesses since it first showed up in the city directory listings in 1928. Prior to that time the area was listed as residential and the particular address was not listed. With the assistance of the always helpful staff that maintains the Florida Collection in the Jacksonville Public Library’s main building downtown I was able to track down a fairly comprehensive list of the occupants of the building from the last 9 decades.

1928-1931  Great A&P Tea Company (first listing of the address in city directories)

1932-1936  Towers Hardware Company

1937-1938  listed as vacant

1939-1967  F.W. Woolworth Company

1968  No listings for this year at that address

1969-1972  Economy Five & Dime Department Store

1973-1976  United Five & Dime Inc.

1977-1983  Peterson Five & Ten

1984-1999  listed as both Peterson’s Variety Store and Peterson’s 5 & 10 & Flower Shop

2000-2009  Fuel Coffeehouse Inc.

2010-2014  There were no listings for this address

2015  Fitz Pullins Inventory Room is listed with the current owner

After sitting empty a number of years since Fuel Coffeehouse was in operation there, local businessman and artist Steve Williams has purchased the building and is in the process of bringing new life to the 88 year old structure. According to Williams the street level portion of the building will house Hoptinger, a German/American beer garden. There are also plans for a rooftop beer garden. The second floor is currently in the planning phase but Williams foresees it as a mixed use office space.


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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More