County History > Industry / Business > Transportation & Waterways > Steamboats

Steamboats

The St. Johns River, Black Creek, Doctor’s Lake and all the connecting smaller tributaries play an important role in Clay County history.  Before the railroad and highways now common through our county,  water was the highway.  Learn more about the many towns, developments, homes and landmarks that are the result of water-based access. Learn more through the linked content below:

Clay County History Tour – Stories from the Water’s Edge

History of the St. John’s River (by St. John’s River Water Management District)

The Story of Today’s St. John’s River (by SJRWMD)

A series of visual navigation aids were installed on the west side of the St. John’s in Clay County, including: Fire (at Duval County line), Doctor (Orange Park), Lake (where Doctors Lake bridge touches Fleming Island), Ragged (Raggedy Point), False, Middle, Hibernia, Wharf, White House, Fleming, Wilkies (just south of Black Creek), Magnolia (Point), (Magnolia) Hotel, David (Green Cove Springs), Clarendon (Hotel), White, Seppho, Draper, Red (Putnam County line) [FL State Archives: US Coast Survey, Progress Sketch Sec. VI, 1877]

Capt. H. D. DeGrove

Capt. Garner

Navigational Points

A series of visual navigation aids were installed on the west side of the St. John’s in Clay County, including: Fire (at Duval County line), Doctor (Orange Park), Lake (where Doctors Lake bridge touches Fleming Island), Ragged (Raggedy Point), False, Middle, Hibernia, Wharf, White House, Fleming, Wilkies (just south of Black Creek), Magnolia (Point), (Magnolia) Hotel, David (Green Cove Springs), Clarendon (Hotel), White, Seppho, Draper, Red (Putnam County line) [FL State Archives: US Coast Survey, Progress Sketch Sec. VI, 1877]

The Steamboats

Books at the Archives

  • Along the St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers, by Edward E. Mueller
  • Boating on the St Johns River, by Edward A. Mueller
  • First Coast Steamboat Days, by Edward A. Mueller
  • St. Johns and Ocklawaha Rivers Images of America, Riverboats
  • Special Tribute to the May Garner