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NASSAU COUNTY Although the French laid claim to Amelia Island in 1562,


Spanish forces, led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, ousted them just three years later. Thus, in 1565, the French flag was replaced with a Spanish flag; it would fly for more than 100 years. Between the years 1562, when the French staked their claim, and 1821, when the U.S. Government took control of the region, Amelia Island was occupied by the British, the Confederacy, Patriots, a Scotsman and a Mexican pirate named Luis Aury, in addition to French and Spanish colonizers. The frequent identity changes led to Amelia Island’s nickname, “Isle of 8 Flags.”


During the American Revolution, Amelia Island, and the rest


of Florida, remained loyal to the crown. Fernandina even became home to English Loyalists that fled the Northern colonies. On June 30, 1778, near present-day Callahan, British troops turned back a group of American militiamen in a skirmish at Alligator Creek. Nassau County was established in 1824. Some people believe the county was named after the Nassau Sound, though there is no proof to support the claim. Construction on Fort Clinch began in 1847, but has never been completed. Even though it wasn’t entirely finished, it was occupied by both sides during the Civil War. Great prosperity blessed the Fernandina area in the late 1800s and early 1900s, as a result of tourism and the start of the modern shrimping industry. In addition, the towns of Callahan, Yulee and Bryceville were established during this


_________________________________________________________________________ Opposite Left: Mandarin Museum, photo courtesy of Mandarin Museum Opposite Center: Pablo Station Train, photo courtesy of Beaches Museum & History Park Opposite Top Right: Old St. Lukes Hospital Opposite Bottom Right: Fort Caroline Top Left: Photo courtesy of Hoyt House Top Center: Amelia Island Lighthouse Top Right: Hoyt House, Amelia Island, photo courtesy of Hoyt House


First Coast Relocation GuideTM 2013


time due, in large part, to the success of the local railroad system and timber industry. In the late 1930s, A.L. Lewis, president of the Afro-American Insurance Company in Jacksonville, established American Beach on the southern end of Amelia Island. The beach became a prominent African-American resort area. From the 1930s into the 1960s, the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line Railroads rattled through Callahan, transporting travelers from the Florida peninsula to the Northeast. Seaboard used the remaining segment of the Florida Railroad in Callahan, which was eventually torn out around 1974.


In 1958, Hilliard became home to the Federal Aviation


Administration’s Air Traffic Control Center, which controls en route air traffic in five southeast states. The White Oak Conservation Center was established by Howard Gilman, owner of the Gilman Paper Company in 1982. A 7,500-acre property near Yulee, the center provides a sanctuary for the conservation and propagation of threatened and endangered wildlife species. Nassau County is one of the fastest growing rural counties in Florida. The current population is more than 74,000. The county plans to preserve its natural beauty as well as provide a welcoming community for new growth.


Nassau Amelia Island has been occupied by French, Spanish, British, the Confederacy, Patriots, a Scotsman and a Mexican pirate #history #fcrg


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