Orange Park and Laurel Grove

Orange Park's history stretches back to the British period when it was a small part of the "Upper Crisp" -- a land grant developed by the Earl of Egmont. It has received much more historical attention, however, for the Spanish land grant to William Pengree called "Laurel Grove." This plantation was purchased by Zephaniah Kingsley and later by John Houston McIntosh.

The Town of Orange Park was the brainchild of developer Washington Benedict and his Florida Winter Home Improvement Co. A copy of an original Orange Park brochure still survives.

It's true there were extensive groves at Orange Park until the freeze of 1895. A substantial pecan grove was planted by Clark, whose whose still survives in the park on the north side of Kingsley.

The Orange Park Normal School caused quite a stir when both blacks and whites were taught together, contrary to law.

An historical marker is being planned by the Historical Society of Orange Park. Here's a list of the Mayors of Orange Park.

Laurel Grove Plantation

 

The McIntosh Plantation

Plantation Church

Orange Park Plantation Church

Slave Quarters on the McIntosh Plantation

Shown as a cluster around the main house on the First Territorial Survey of about 1848. By 1876, a somehwat different cluster is shown, but in about the same area on a Treasury map by Hilgard.

 

 

Books at the Archives

Early Days in Jacksonville, Including More Stories of Orange Park History of Orange Park (2 copies)
Early Days in Orange Park History of Orange Park (2 copies)

Historic Building Survey of Orange Park binder

History of Orange Park Library 1912 -1992 binder

Massee, Frica

Frica Massee was the wife of Caleb Johnson, who founded the soap company. They lived in Orange Park. Her "Tales of Frica Masse, Beyond the Backyard" is available at the Archives.

Trammel, Nira. S.

"Tales of Childhood" [in Orange Park] available at the Archive.

Orange Park

Kingsey Avenue looking west 1880s

Kingsley Ave 1880s

Kingsey Avenue looking west 1929

Kingsley Ave 1929

The May Garner at the town dock

May Garner

The Mag Garner survived well after the steamboat era "officially" ended.