World's Finest Beach: A Brief History of the Jacksonville Beaches

World's Finest Beach: A Brief History of the Jacksonville Beaches

by Donald J. Mabry


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Beginning as a summer resort for the wealthy, the oceanfront of Jacksonville has morphed into an outrageously popular tourist destination, stretching from Mayport to Ponte Vedra Beach. Encompassing a fishing village, luxury hotels, a carnival, railroads, mines and flocks of tourists, these beaches have a vast and eclectic history. Discover how Mayport became an adjunct of one of the largest naval bases in the United States and how a former mine called Mineral City became Ponte Vedra. Noted historian Don Mabry traces the fascinating history of what he still considers home from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first in this warm account of the "World's Finest Beach."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596299672
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 05/28/2010
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dr. Donald J. Mabry, professor emeritus of history at Mississippi State University, went to elementary schools in Jacksonville Beach and graduated from Fletcher Junior-Senior High School in 1959. Mabry earned a bachelor's degree with honors from Kenyon College, a master's in education from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate with honors from Syracuse University. He taught at St. Johns River Community College in Palatka, Florida; Syracuse University; and Mississippi State University. He has authored six books and hundreds of articles and is founder and editor of the Historical Text Archive ( He returns often to the beaches to do historical research and enjoy what he believes is still the World's Finest Beach.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Chapter 1 The Setting 13

Chapter 2 Pablo Beach, 1886-1907 37

Chapter 3 Pablo Beach, 1907-1925 65

Chapter 4 The World's Finest Beach, 1925-1945 79

Chapter 5 After World War II 103

Chapter 6 The '60s and Beyond 139

Notes 159

Sources 167

About the Author 175

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