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The Great Fire of May 3, 1901 marked at once the end and the beginning of the City of Jacksonville. A thriving port and a center for business and tourism until that point, Jacksonville was devastated by the conflagration, and yet, even before the ashes had cooled, a building boom began. Prominent and aspiring architects flocked to the area and the opportunities it afforded them to create a “twentieth century city.” Jacksonville’s ensuing era of reconstruction and growth, which would continue until the United States entered World War I in 1917, helped to define the city’s present personality and appearance.
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The popularity of the postcard reached its zenith in the first decades of the twentieth century, just as Jacksonville was rebuilding, and much of the city’s development was illustrated on these friendly greetings. In Jacksonville in Vintage Postcards, over 200 postcard views, now valuable historical documents in the collection of the Jacksonville Historical Society, portray the changing face of Jacksonville between the Great Fire and the Great War and treat residents and visitors alike to a nostalgic journey into the city’s unique past.