History Happened Here

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Duval County

Year Founded: 1832


There has been some kind of crossing of the St. Johns River at the present site of Jacksonville as far back as history can be traced. The Timucuan Indians called it Wacca Pilatka, meaning, “place where cows cross,” though of course the Indians had never seen cattle until the Spaniards brought them. “Wacca” is a variant of the Spanish “vaca,” meaning, “cow.” The Spaniards themselves called the settlement here the Ferry of St. Nicholas but, when the Americans took over, they went back to a translation of the Indian name and called it Cowford. In 1822, a city of some proportions was platted on the north bank of the river by Isaiah D. Hart, Daniel Hart and Zachariah Hogans. These founders gave the city the name of Jacksonville, after Andrew Jackson, the first provisional governor of Florida. Jacksonville was substantially destroyed by fire in 1901. In 1968, a new charter established the Consolidated City of Jacksonville, which consolidated the governments of the City of Jacksonville and Duval County. The city features a major port and has become a trade center.

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