Arlington is not just one of Jacksonville’s largest suburbs, it also happens to be the city’s most historically-rich areas. The area dates right back to the 16th century when Fort Caroline was established by the French along the St. John’s River on the northern boundary of Arlington. Arlington was proved to have been occupied by Native Americans as far back as 5000 B.C and the evidences are several notable Indian mounds.
The surrounding land sat untouched for multiple centuries after the fort ceased to exist. The modern Arlington history began after the Civil War. Returning Union Soldiers were told of the beauty of North Florida and soon after, Northerners began to create summer homes along the Arlington River.
The film industry began to move to North Florida early in the 1900s and the teens. The Eagle Film Manufacturing Company took over an ineffective cigar-rolling factory and erected four other structures to house their “Film City” in 1916. It was a big operation, including a developing room, offices, a developing room and an enormous swimming pool to film water scenes. While this created some kind of enthusiasm, Eagle Film soon packed up.
The site was eventually purchased by Richard Norman, Norman Studios’ Sr. in 1922. Norman Studios’ films were made with all-black casts. After the retirement of Norman, from the early 1950s all through to the mid-1970s Richard’s wife Gloria employed the main building as a studio for dance. The location has survived till this day and is a significant part of black History as well as North Florida film history.
America was struck by Florida Fever in the 1920s. It was just an enthusiasm for the satisfaction of sunny Florida during free time. As a major railway hub, Jacksonville became an exiting point and consolidated on its reputation as “the entrance to Florida.” In spite of the change around it, Arlington stayed somewhat exempt to the fever, though the civilization slowly grew.
The long division of Arlington from Jacksonville was eventually separated in the 1950s by the hard-fought building of the Mathews Bridge, linking it to the city not by the indirect route through the Southside, but straight to the heart of city center. The bridge was given the title John E. Mathews, a judge and legislator who was conductive in gathering the funding and social motion to get it constructed. As and historian and local Cleve Powell notes, “the Arlington Bridge…had been discussed as long as there were cars.” The Arlington Bridge Boosters Association circuited a petition in the year 1946 for a high-level bridge (rather than the traffic-knotting draw bridges). The bridge was delayed for many years until it became a sure thing.
Jacksonville University, established in 1934, encouraged by the plans for the bridge, purchased land in Arlington around 1948 (a land which was formerly the land on where the Chesterfield Plantation stood, once owned by Anna Kingsley). Building of the new campus started around 1950, and the construction of the bridge was completed at about 1953. The presence of Jacksonville University led to the advancement of the Chaseville Highway, now known as University Boulevard, into a six-lane road around the year 1961.
These improvements catapulted Arlington from being a semi-rural and habitable neighbourhood to something more suburban and less strongly pulled together. By the late 1960s all through to the 90s, more groups of houses and apartment housing were constructed. 1967 brought the building of the close-by Regency Mall. The 1969 consolidation sealed Arlington’s fate as part of Jacksonville instead of a community apart. We’re tree experts in arlington jacksonville.
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