Green Cove Springs Florida
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About The Community
Green Cove Springs in northeast Florida is on the St. Johns River where the river runs north. The river here is about three miles wide and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The original name of the community was Pirate’s Cove but in the 1800s, it was known as White Sulfur Springs for the warm therapeutic waters of a bubbling crystal clear spring. Visitors came from far on steamboats down the St. Johns River and lived in local hotels for the therapeutic value of the water.
The name was changed to Green Cove Springs in 1886, and it is popularly known as the Saratoga of the South. Today steamboats may no longer bring visitors seeking a cure to this quaint historic city in Clay County but cruise ships and paddleboats do carry tourists on a dinner cruise on the St Johns. The boats cruise past the lush riverfront park and anchor at the City pier in Green Cove Springs. The visitors take a walking tour to the spring and historic downtown district, which includes historic homes a restored hotel and the unique restored Clay Theater on Walnut Street that now, shows first run movies.
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Vicinity of Green Cove Springs
Spring Park, with its lush oak and palm trees, surrounds the spring that flows through a municipal swimming pool to enter the St. Johns River. The spring was originally a water source for the community. It has a slight taste of sulfur, and leaves slight traces of the mineral on the sides of the spring. The “Historical Triangle” includes the “Old Courthouse” built in 1875, the old jail, and the Clay County Historical Society Museum. The Railroad Collection with its climb-aboard caboose is well worth a visit.
The city has grown to nearly 8000 residents with it as a nearby community for Jacksonville. It has retained its small town character and with its excellent schools and beautiful parks is a good place to raise kids. Kindred Hospital North Florida looks after the medical needs of the town and there are numerous churches of all denominations. The local economy is based on farming and mining, service industries and retirement homes, as well as the nearby military facilities. Industrial areas have developed north and south of Green Cove Springs. After World War II, the Navy constructed 13 piers along St. Johns River to house the famous Mothball Fleet of 600 vessels. The base was decommissioned in 1960 and the city annexed the area to develop the Clay County Port and the Reynolds industrial park.
A charming place to stay on a visit to Green Cove Springs is the River Park Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in the riverfront business district. It was earlier Cottage A, a secluded haven of the famous Clarendon Hotel. This 1880’s restored lodging offers five comfortable guest rooms with vintage decor, high ceilings, and heart of pine flooring. Enjoy the old world ambience and all modern amenities at this perfect getaway. A gas log fire in the parlor will warm you on cold days while a river breeze reaches the second story verandah, overlooking the river front park to refresh you when it is warm.
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