Jacksonville Beach, Florida

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Jacksonville Beach is a city on the Atlantic coast of Duval County, Florida, east of Jacksonville. It is part of the Jacksonville Beaches community, together with Mayport, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Ponte Vedra Beach. When the city of Jacksonville consolidated with Duval County in 1968, Jacksonville Beach, together with Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Baldwin, voted to retain their own municipal governments. The population was 20,990 at the 2000 census; as of 2005, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 21,770,[3] giving the city a population density of 2,827/mi² (1,094/km²).

Contents

History

Like most of northeast Florida, the Jacksonville Beach area was originally inhabited by the Timucua peoples. Though the Jacksonville Beaches region was one of the first parts of what is now the continental United States to see settlement during the period of European colonziation, the area of Jacksonville Beach itself was not settled until the 19th century.

In the late 19th century, developers began to see the potential in Duval County's oceanfront as a resort. In 1883 a group of investors formed the Jacksonville and Atlantic Railroad with the intention of developing a resort community that would be connected to Jacksonville by rail. In 1884 the first residents of what would become Jacksonville Beach moved in, and a railway station, post office, and small tent community was formed. The community was named Ruby, after the daughter of one of the first residents. The name was changed to Pablo Beach in 1886, and the first hotel was constructed. It was incorporated as a town in 1907. The name was changed to Jacksonville Beach in 1921, emphasizing the connection with Jacksonviille.

In 1968 most residents of Duval County voted to approve consolidation between the county and the City of Jacksonville. Jacksonville Beach, together with Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and the Westside community of Baldwin voted to retain their own municipal governents. As such they are not part of the City of Jacksonville, but receive county-level services from Jacksonville, and vote for Jacksonville's mayor and City Council. The current mayor is Fland Sharp.[4] Jacksonville Beach is the largest town in the Jacksonville Beaches community. It is the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 90, which ends at an intersections with State Road A1A three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.

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