Jacksonville Heritage Sites
Edwin Stanton School
DESCRIPTION: Jacksonville blacks formed an Education Society and in 1868 purchased the land for this school for $850. When this newer structure was built in 1917, it was reportedly the only high school for blacks in the country. It is now a college preparatory school for grades 9 thru 12.
ADDRESS: 500 West Beaver Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Catherine Street Fire Station #3
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1902 after the great Jacksonville fire, the station was manned by African American firemen for years; it is now the official fire museum that features a horse drawn fire wagon and other memorabilia.
ADDRESS: 12 Catherine Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Clara White Mission Center
DESCRIPTION: A simple Masonry Vernacular style building by H. J. Kluthro; a mission home dedicated to a pioneer member of Bethel Baptist Church. Clara’s kindness and influence is still felt throughout the community at this center for free dinners and popular holiday celebrations. A designated historic landmark, Dr. Eartha White’s restored living quarters are on the second floor.
ADDRESS: 611 West Ashley Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Old Brewster Hospital
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1885 as the Boylan-Haven private school for African American girls. The seeds of its medical care history were planted by Superintendent Hattie Emerson who started a nurse training program in the 1890s; by 1901 the school was deeded to the Women’s Home Society of the Methodist Church re-chartered as Brewster Hospital, the first for African Americans in Jacksonville. Its charter was unchallenged until the 1964 Civil Rights Act opened larger, more modern hospitals to African Americans. It was underfunded and thus, less able to compete for patients. By 1966 Old Brewster closed.
ADDRESS: 915 West Monroe Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Strand Theater Site
DESCRIPTION: On this corner site stood the finest historically Black Theater in Jacksonville. In its heyday, it rivaled the Apollo Theater of Harlem and the Regal Theater of Chicago for artistry and popularity. The building is demolished, but fortunately its heritage is survived by the nearby Ritz Theater in LaVilla.
ADDRESS: 703 West Ashley Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
DESCRIPTION: In 1817 Zephaniah Kingsley purchased this heavily wooded property to raise sugar, cotton and other cash crops. Kingsley was married to an African, but in the twisted sense of humanity prevalent in his day, he judged that slavery was essential to agricultural success in the South. He enjoyed the fruits of a Master’s house built in the same year and now restored. After driving a couple miles in a narrow wooded road you encounter the ruins of slave quarters, which form an arc around the plantation entrance; built mostly of clay and seashells, some are remarkably well preserved and thought to be the oldest remaining slave quarters in Florida. The original work bell and tools used by enslaved people can be seen and touched. Allow plenty of daylight before making the drive to this unforgettable site.
ADDRESS: 11676 Palmetto Ave on Fort George Island, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
DESCRIPTION: Organized in 1838 for the religious activities of Jacksonville’s black community; during the Civil War, it also served as a hospital but was destroyed during Jacksonville’s great fire of 1901; on the National Register of Historic Sites.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 8a, 10:45a & 6p
ADDRESS: 215 Bethel Baptist Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Mount Zion AME Church
DESCRIPTION: After the Civil War, several dozen newly freed men organized a society for religious worship which became the church; a devastating fire in 1901 destroyed the old church which could seat a congregation of 1,500. The new one was built in 1902 for $18,000; the edifice survives today as a magnificent landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 8a and 11a
ADDRESS: 201 East Beaver Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
United House of Prayer For All People
DESCRIPTION: Its the largest UHP congregation in North Florida is housed in this modern structure.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 11a
ADDRESS: 505 West Beaver Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Second Missionary Baptist Church
DESCRIPTION: Calls itself, “The Church Where Somebody Cares” and that’s no empty rhetoric; the church hosts a wide variety of community outreach programs and a full calendar of events.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 10:45a & 7p
ADDRESS: 954 Kings Road, Jacksonville, FL MAP
Mount Olive AME Church
DESCRIPTION: Richard L. Brown, Jacksonville’s first Black architect, designed this eclectic church; built of concrete block the upper stories are textured with brown mortar to simulate quarry stone; the edifice includes a large portico entrance.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 11a
ADDRESS: 841 Franklin Street, Jacksonville, FL MAP
St. Paul AME Church
DESCRIPTION: Founded 1869 at Johnson and Ward streets, the church moved to this modern andlarger edifice in 1982. It features a dynamic pastor many community outreach programs and a growing congregation.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: 7:30a & 11a
ADDRESS: 6910 New Kings Road, Jacksonville, FL MAP
DESCRIPTION: Sneak away from the touristy coastal part of town to visit the historically Black district of Lincolnville, just a few blocks inland from downtown bounded by Cedar, Riberia, Cerro and Washington Streets. Lincolnville was founded by newly freed African Americans in 1866. Its businesses and nightlife remained prosperous until desegregation in the 1960s. For a touch of history and culture, stop by St. Paul’s AME Church at 85 Martin Luther King Avenue and St. Mary’s Missionary Church at 69 Washington Street and the Willie Gallimore Community center at 399 Riberia Street.
ADDRESS: 85 Martin Luther King Avenue, St. Augustine, FL MAP
PHONE: 904-392-1721 tours