Historic Markers Across Florida



The Crossroads



Marker ID:  
Location: On Arlington Rd just west of University Blvd, Jacksonville, FL
County: Duval
Coordinates: N 30° 20.017    W 081° 36.194
  30.33361666    -81.60323333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMMQ31
 



Text:

The Arlington Crossroads was formed from 1800s wagon roads that connected thriving riverfront Spanish plantations and landings along the St. Johns River with the Richard Mill dam over Strawberry Creek. These roads were tied together and platted when the plantations were sold after the Civil War. The resulting main north/south road was the "road to Chaseville" of Chaseville Road, which became University Boulevard in 1959. Arlington Road, the main east/west road was combined from several roads, including St. Johns Avenue and Elizabeth Street.

From the 1920s through the 40s development at the Crossroads grew steadily. Civic-minded citizens started a community club, public water works, and volunteer fire department, all located in the area of the Crossroads. Paul K. Reid's Gas Station and Cliff's Garage serviced the ever more popular automobile. Supplies and sundries could be purchased at Oliver Friske's General Store. While the surrounding area was still very rural and much food was home-grown, groceries could be purchased from Rowe's Grocery or Haine's Grocery.

The opening of the Matthews Bridge in 1953 made the area easily accessible and attracted new businesses and new residents. Housing subdivisions and strip shopping centers would soon fill the area, but even with the opening of the Town and Country and Arlington Plaza shopping centers during the 1950s, the Crossroads remained the business and social hub of a now larger Arlington. From the new post office on the northwest corner, businesses spread in all directions-Turner Hardware, Sal's Drug Store, The Clip Joint Barber Shop, Arlington Auto Parts, Chaz Harris' Music Shop, to name a few. Old-timers and teenagers and those in between met under the beautiful oak tree by the post office to share the news of their families.

The arrival of enclosed mall shops and "super" market grocery stores lured shoppers elsewhere, and the Arlington Crossroads as a small town center slowly blended into the community at large.

Old Arlington Inc from a grant from Comcast through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority