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Jacksonville History, North Carolina

It is the youngest city in the United States with an average age of 23, due in part to the large number of military personnel. It is fondly called “J-Action-Ville” or “J-Ville”. It is neighbored by Winter Park, Leland and Windemere.

Jacksonville – History: Early History

At the end of the Tuscarora wars in 1713, the Native American tribes allowed permanent settlements in the area between New Bern and Wilmington. Thus, the headwaters of the New River became a key area for production of naval stores, especially turpentine. The waterfront park in downtown is built on the site of the Wantland’s Ferry, and there are bridges being built on both sides of the site as well.

In 1752, there was a strong hurricane that destroyed Johnston, which was the county seat, as well as Wantlands Ferry. Jacksonville was then chosen as a better site for the county seat as it was situated further up the river. It was at that time known as Onslow Courthouse, but was in 1842 renamed to Jacksonville after the United States President, Andrew Jackson.

Jacksonville – History: Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base

The city and county kept relying on its naval stores, lumber and crops (tobacco) for industry, but when in 1939 the area was mapped by the United State Army Corps of Engineers, they saw the fourteen miles of beach near the town. This sparked their interest as they were at that time looking for a site to build a base on which to have amphibious training facilities.

The Congressman of New Bern at the time lobbied to have the Congress approve the purchase of almost one hundred thousand acres along the bank of the river, and this was later established as Marine Barracks, later known as Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.

Due to this base, over seven hundred families were relocated, with the landowners being compensated. However, the sharecroppers who did not own land in the area, and had built structures on the land they were working on, were not compensated. The construction of the base, however, caused a population explosion as new workers moved to the city. Today, the city’s economy is mostly based on the base.

The city of Jacksonville has great historical background. Jacksonville is home to Jacksonville Intl (JAX) airport. A lot of domestic flights from Denver to Jacksonville, New York to Jacksonville, Boston to Jacksonville and Los Angeles to Jacksonville are served throughout the week. But there are also good connections to Brunswick and Daytona Beach.


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