The Black Heritage Museum: located on Longmire Avenue at Hunter-Douglas Park in Middleburg. Open by appointment. Please call Maude Jackson at (904) 282-4168, Mamie Oliver at (904) 282-5223, or Sarah Weeks at (904) 282-5205 for information.
Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park: located at Camp Blanding on State Road 16 at Kingsley Lake, is open daily from 12-4 p.m. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. 904-533-3100, ext 3196. The Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park has achieved national standing as a World War II Commemorative Community.
Camp Blanding was a major U.S. Army training facility during the Second World War. It was originally established as a state-owned training reservation in 1939 for the Florida National Guard. However, as war clouds materialized, the mobilization of reserve forces and the rapid expansion of the entire United States Army required Camp Blanding to be converted to a federal reservation. It was subsequently enlarged to house two complete infantry divisions along with many separate units. Prior to turning Camp Blanding into an Infantry Replacement Center (IRTC) in 1943, dozens and dozens of army formations comprising hundreds of thousands of troops trained at Camp Blanding. Included were formations of Infantry, Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, Field Artillery, Engineer, Medical and other specialist troops. Nine entire Infantry Divisions trained at Camp Blanding: 1st ID (Big Red One), 29th ID (Blue & Gray), 30th ID (Old Hickory), 31st ID (Dixie), 36th ID (Texas), 43rd ID (Winged Victory), 63rd ID (Blood and Fire), 66th ID (Panther) and the 79th ID (Cross of Lorainne). For most of 1944 and 1945, a very large percentage of the individuals sent to replenish the ranks of America’s combat infantry formations trained at the Camp’s IRTC. In Addition, the Camp was the site of a 2800-bed hospital, a German Prisoner of War Compound and at the war’s end, a Separation Center. Following the war, Camp Blanding reverted to state control, and today is a Joint Training Site for the National Guard and other Reserve Components and some Active Component training.
Clay County Historic Museum & Triangle: 915 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs, FL. Visit the museum, the 1896 county jail and 1890 courthouse all in one location. 904-278-4780
Clay County Historical Tours: Call the Clay County Archives Department, (904) 284-2386 for upcoming tour schedule. Tour covers the history of Green Cove Springs, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Camp Blanding and Penney Farms and includes stops at St. Margaret’s Church, Middleburg Historical Museum, Camp Blanding Museum, Penney Farms Church and 1890 Courthouse.
Clay County Military Museum of North Florida: Bunker Avenue, located in Reynolds Park off of Highway 16 in Green Cove Springs. Exhibits cover the entire span of American history from the Revolution to the present featuring uniforms, weapons and communications systems. Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 904-718-5571. Their web address is www.militarymuseumofnorthflorida.com
Historic Natural Spring: St. Augustine is the acclaimed site of “the fountain of youth” but people have sought the healing powers of the natural spring water in Spring Park, Green Cove Springs for centuries. The spring is one of approximately a dozen sulfur water springs in Florida and is still popular today as a tourist site and a public swimming facility. The water boils up from a large fissure, some twenty feet below the surface at the rate of approximately 3,000 gallons per minute and a perfect 78 degrees. Spring Park is located on Magnolia Avenue in the City of Green Cove Springs.
Middleburg Historic Museum: 3912 Section Street, Middleburg. Office hours are Sundays, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, and the phone number is 904-282-5357.
Penney Farms: C.R. 218 and Hwy 16 between Middleburg and Green Cove Springs. Built by James Cash Penney in 1927. Please call (904) 529-9078 for tour availability.
Historic Sites of Religious Significance
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church: 6865 Pine Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-3030. Website: http://diocesefl.org/stmargarets-hibernia/
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church: 400 Saint Johns Avenue, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. (904) 284-5434.