The weekend run is reminiscent of Jacksonville’s great fire of 1901

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Monday, 120 years will have passed since downtown Jacksonville burned down in what is known as the Great Fire.

Within eight hours, 146 city blocks were destroyed, more than 2,368 buildings turned to ashes and 10,000 residents left homeless. It is considered remarkable that only seven people died in the fire.

“The great fire of 1901 was the greatest significant event in the history of our city,” said Dr. Wayne Wood, historian with the Jacksonville Historical Society. “One afternoon, 90% of downtown Jacksonville was destroyed in that big fire. The flames glowed in the sky as far as Savannah, Georgia. The smoke could be seen in the sky in Raleigh, North Carolina. “

May 3, 1901 was a dry, windy, hot day and a spark from a wood fire from a fiber company struck a pallet of Spanish moss and the resulting fire spread across the city.

“My great-great company, the Cleveland Fiber Company, owned this building on May 1, 1901, the day the fire started,” said Fred Kent, president of Marks Gray PA


The result was the third largest city fire in United States history. It caused an estimated loss of $ 15 million – $ 1901.

Map of the great fire of 1901 (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

But the fire forced the city to reinvent itself and rise from the ashes to become the Jacksonville we know today.


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