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Writings About the Jacksonville Beaches


by Donald J. Mabry

From 2006 until 2016, Mabry has devoted much of his time researching and writing the history of the communities at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the northern section of a long barrier island. He was a history professor at Mississippi State University, specializing in Latin American, especially Meican, history but his heart has always been at the"beach." His writing life is sketched on his vita.

1    World's Finest Beach (2006).

2  World's Finest Beach: A Brief History of the Jacksonville Beaches (Charleston and London: The History Press, (2010).

3  I've Been Working on the Railroad (2012). The men who built short line rairoads from Jacksonville, Florida to the Atlantic Ocean.

4  Mayport Chronicles (2015.) Articles about the little village of Mayport, Florida hemmed in by Naval Station Matport and the St. Johns River.


1  "Neptune Beach, Florida Before 1931", (2006). A much loved squre mile

2  "A Man and Three Hotels", (2006). A Mississippian, W. H. Adams, operated the Ocean View Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the Atlantic Beach Hotel and the Atlantic Beach Inn in Atlantic Beach, Florida.

3  "Harcourt Bull's Atlantic Beach, Florida," (2007. A Canadian lawyer from New York shaped Atlantic Beach, Florida.

4  "WWI Veterans: Jacksonville Beaches & Mayport," (2007, Revised 2008). Men from the Jacksonville coast served in the FIRST WORLD WAR.

5  "Baseball on the Beach: Sea Birds, 1952-54,"(2008). Class D professioal baseball.

5  "Florida's Napoleon", (2008).Florida governor and Senator-elect.

6  "Carnival on the Boardwalk" (2009). Amusemwnts, rides, games, food,dink, and bath house galore!

7  "Mighty Mayport Florida Beats Jacksonville," (2009).A aspect of the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1888.

8   "Uncovering African American Micro History" (2010). African Americans lived on the Jacksonville Beaches since their founding.

9  "Yankee Engineer in Florida", (2010). Bruce and thebuilding of the St. Johns River jetties.

10  "Beach Builder: B. B. McCormick”, (2012). The major construction contracter during the first half of the 20th Century.

11  "What A Man! John G. Christopher," (2012).Jacksonville enterpreneur who built at the beaches.

12 "Yankee Engineer in Florida: Frederick William Bruce," The Southern Genealogist's Exchange Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 221, March 2012.

13 "Pablo Beach 1910", (2013). Jacksonville Beach was once Pablo Beach and tiny.

14 "Le Chateau Restaurant, 1954-1985" (2013). Oceanfront dining in Atlantic Beach

15 "Arnot's Bakery & Restaurant" (2013). Olfactory memories!

16 "Ode to Coach Wimpy Sutton" (2013).An outstanding science teach and swim coach.

17 "Casa Marina Hotel, 1924-2014" (2014). The first fireproof hotel on the beach still stands.

18 "Gene Zapf (1894-1948), Jacksonville Beach Entrepreneur" (2014). Little known mover and shaker before WWII.

19 "Bennett Beach Drug Stores" (2014.

20 "The Alpha O. Paynter Mystery"(2014).Prominent female restaurateur who became a ghostly legend.

21 "Arthur G. Penman: Real Estate Baron & Fisherman" (October, 2015). Revised December, 2016 to incorporate material about the love affar between Betty Penman and Tony Casey of the Royal Air Force!

22 "Ruby of Ruby Beach, Florida," (September, 2015).

23 "Casa Marina has weathered test of time," The Beaches Leader, August 6, 2015, excerpts from "Casa Marina Hotel, 1924.-2014" (2014).

24 Elsie Behner's Scrapbook, 1937-42(July, 2015).The plays the thing, she said, or should have!

25 Gene Nordan, An Entertaining Man May, 2015. Still at it, Nordan has been a favorite crooning pianist for decade.

26 From the Beginning—Atlantic Beach, EU Jacksonville (July, 2015).

27 "Princess to Pauper: The Legend of Elizabeth P. Stark" (January, 2015)

28 Walter Thomas Galvin, Locomotive Fireman (April, 2015). Galvin was a fireman on the Florida East Coast Railway for decades.

29 Mayport's King House—Haunted? (February, 2015).Is it?

30 "Ocean Piers, An Illustrated Chronology" (December, 2015). Piers and the ocean divorce too often.

31 "The Two Martin G. Williams, 1887-2010" (April, 2016). The principal developer of the carnival on the boardwalk and his son who helped dismantle it.

32 Ed Smith, Humorous Storyteller (April 21, 2016)Great anecdotal stories.

33  Turning Sand Into Gold  (July 25, 2016)From mines to upscale housing. 34 Ponte Vedra Pioneers (October 16, 2016) Settling Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Go here for more writings by Don Mabry