County History > Location / Place > Road Name Backgrounds

Road Name Backgrounds

Have you ever driven on a road in Clay County and wondered about the origin of the road’s name? You aren’t alone – we wondered, too! 

We hope you’ll learn something new here – and, maybe, share with us information you may have that will help us expand our road name history listing. If you do, please reach out to Archives Specialist Vishi Garig at archives@clayclerk.com.

  • Blanding Boulevard – Albert Hazen Blanding (November 9, 1876 – December 26, 1970) was a United States Army General. He was one of the most distinguished military figures in Florida’s history. In I939, he was honored by the establishment of Camp Blanding. The camp was a major training base during World War II and is now home to the Florida National Guard in our area. General Blanding helped create the Everglades National Park. In 2000, Blanding was named a Great Floridian by the Florida Department of State.
  • Branan Field Road – Alvord & Mary Branan acquired this property in 1940. In 1941, the Navy identified the Branan’s property as a suitable outlying field for NAS Jacksonville. The federal government instituted proceedings against the Branan’s real estate in the same year.  Following World War II, Branan Outlying Landing Field (OLF) was used for the development of the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, later to be known as the “Blue Angels”. Alvord was a veteran of WWI, where he served with the 24th Engineers. He died on November 27, 1941 leaving Mary to deal with the government wanting their land for the airfield.  
  • Gano Avenue is named after Washington Gano Benedict, the founder of Orange Park.
  • Kingsley Avenue is named after Zephaniah Kingsley.  His plantation was the basis of today’s Orange Park. 
  • Lawrence Boulevard in Keystone Heights is named after John J. Lawrence who founded Keystone Heights in 1903.
  • Ferris Street in Green Cove Springs is named after the Palmer & Ferris families land that encompassed most of the historical section of Green Cove Springs.
  • Fleming Island Drive and Hibernia Avenue are roads named after the Fleming Family who received their Spanish land grant in 1812 and named it Hibernia (a word referring to Ireland).
  • Foreman Circle in Middleburg is named after Grant Forman.  In the early 1900’s, he bought a large tract of land now known as Hilltop. He gave the land to his family and their descendants still live there today.
  • Wells Road in Orange Park was a county engineering department project in 1975.  The land once belonged to Mr. Wells, a dairy farmer. 
  • Knight Boxx Road is named after Sherwood Salathiel Boxx (1905 to 1968) land owner in the area; born and raised at Doctors Inlet.
  • Kel Lane (named after the owner of Kel’s Corner Antique Store).
  • Louie Carter Road is named after Louie (1903-1981), son of Elijah Carter.
  • Hattie Nolan Road is named after Hattie Nolan (1892-1972).  She was a pioneer on the west side of the county. The road leads to the Padgett Cemetery in Jennings State Forest. She was married to Robert Nolan.
  • Allie Murray Road (Allie Lee Murray, 1892 to 1980).  Murray was a farmer whose land was nearby.
  • More family named roads: Sweat, Hall Boree, Carl Spencer, Carter Spencer Road, Canova, Hardy Padgett, Ola Padgett, Knowles, Haymon, Burroughs, Baxley, Johns….and many more.
  • In the Lake Asbury area, Arthur Moore Drive, Circuit Rider Court, Lake Asbury Drive:  the first developer named the subdivision after traveling circuit preachers.
  • Laurel Grove Lane is named after Zephaniah Kingsley’s plantation.
  • McIntosh Lane is named for the man who bought Laurel Grove from Kingsley.
  • Harmony Hall Road – Artemis Ferguson received a British land grant encompassing most of the land on both sides of Swimming Pen Creek.  He called his plantation Harmony Hall.  E. A. Ferguson’s land grant was originally from Britain but the Spanish re-granted it to him when they got Florida back in 1783. Doctor’s Creek is todays Swimming Pen Creek. Whitey’s Fish Camp is on the grant as well.
  • Raggedy Point Road– When steamships once trekked up and down the river, they had way points marked along the banks and one was called Ragged Point.
  • Decoy Road – West Tocoi was a small village near Decoy Road. It no longer exists but Decoy was mis-pronouncement of the name. Decoy Cemetery and Decoy Church share the name.
  • Old Church Road – refers to St. Margaret’s Church on Hibernia land.
  • Peoria Road refers to the small settlement right where Peoria Road and Cemetery Road is today. There was a small railroad stop there originally called Peoria.
  • Bellamy Road – This was the first federal highway in Florida. It started in Clay County in the Bayard Tract area and went diagonally across the county to Melrose, and from there ran west towards Pensacola. The road was based on the old Spanish trail that was there first.
  • Brick Yard Road was made famous by famous musician Ronnie Van Zant. He lived in the area and his lyrics reflect his memories from that time.  There was an actual brickyard operation there, and ruins can still be seen. This is the most stolen road sign in Clay County.
  • Camp Francis Johnson Road refers to philanthropist Francis Johnson.  He donated land for a camp in Orange Park for African-American Boy Scout troops to use. It was called Camp Coacoochee. Seminole for “wildcat”, Coacoochee was a Seminole war chief.  Camp Coacoochee was on the opposite side of town from Camp Echockotee, the white camp. Kids from Coacoochee were often taken by bus to Echockotee to use the pool and waterfront areas.  Camp Coacoochee, renamed for is benefactor, was sold in 1979 by the council to become part of the Foxridge subdivision in Orange Park. All that remains today is Camp Francis Johnson Road.
  • Rideout Ferry Road and Chief Ridaught Trail are other well-known roads in our area and often a source of spelling debates.  Sadly, imposter chief Horace Ridaught wrote a fictionalized “history” of the Ridaught Family (claimed to be Choctaw) in Florida called “Hell’s Branch Office.”  A convicted paperhanger (wrote fraudulent checks), he created fake reparation claims to land across our county based on some alleged service his ancestors gave Andrew Jackson during the Seminole Wars.  He latched onto Clay County for this attempted farce because Rideout Ferry sounded like his last name. He was the proverbial black sheep of his family and was disavowed by Jerome Ridaught, grandson of Daniel Isaiah Ridaught. The fraudulent claims were denied by the federal government.
  • Old Hard Road was once State Route 3, a main road from Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs.
  • Challenger Drive is named after the space shuttle that exploded during launch in January 1986.
Brickyard Road - made famous in song.
Branan Field Outlying Landing Field
US Army General Albert H. Blanding