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.
Laurel Grove Plantation
The McIntosh Plantation
Slave Quarters on the McIntosh Plantation
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
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.
Kingsey Avenue looking west 1880s
Kingsey Avenue looking west 1929
The May Garner at the town dock
The Mag Garner survived well after the steamboat era "officially" ended.