History of the City of Jacksonville Beach
Although the French Huguenots led by Capt. Jean Ribault in 1562 laid claim to the First Coast area, it was the Spanish who first settled the area around Jacksonville Beach, establishing missions from Mayport to St. Augustine. The Spanish ceded East Florida to the English by treaty in 1763 only to regain control twenty years later. In 1821 the Spanish ceded Florida to the United States of America.
The area was settled by river pilots and fishermen as early as 1831 when Mayport, then known as Hazard, was established as a port. The Mayport lighthouse was erected in 1859 and still stands at the Naval Station Mayport. By 1885 Mayport had 600 inhabitants, a post office and a school. The town was also visited daily by steamships which brought beach-goers from Jacksonville down the St. Johns River.
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