Narrative Card: Conditions


Narrative Card: Conditions


With the higher temperatures and lack of precipitation the wooden structures in Jacksonville were dry. Many small structures in the city were constructed of local pine and in close proximity to one another. Wooden shingles quickly ignited as the floating clumps of burning Spanish moss sailed on the wind through downtown Jacksonville. Jacksonville at the time of the fire, in 1901, was described by the Florida-Times Union as “a low-rise city” with the tallest structure being six-stories high. In addition to many smaller wooden structures, there were also several large luxury resort hotels near, what was Hemming Park, now known as James Weldon Johnson Park. Fortunately, the hotel occupancy in May was significantly reduced compared to the winter tourist season making for a more expedient evacuation of the structures. Many of these magnificent buildings were completely destroyed in the fire.


Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections


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Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections, “Narrative Card: Conditions,” Thomas G. Carpenter Library Digital Exhibits, accessed December 2, 2022,