Life on a Piece of Old Florida

In this rural maritime setting the Browne boys flourished. Their mother, a trained school teacher, taught the boys to read, write, and do basic mathematics. When not under their mother’s tutelage the boys fished, roamed the vast shell mounds, and explored the ruins of old Confederate gun batteries on St. Johns Bluff. From atop the Bluff, which is ninety feet high, young “Willie” could see the Atlantic Ocean five miles to the east. The boys tended the family’s cattle, chickens, citrus trees, and vegetable garden. One hundred years ago the property was isolated. At that time the city limits of Jacksonville did not reach this far into eastern Duval County. The nearest towns were Mayport (2 miles east), Fulton (1 mile west), and Cosmo (2 miles west). Transportation to and from Jacksonville was available by catching a river ferry, named the Hessie, which made a daily roundtrip from Fulton.

Proceed to Willie Receives the Gift of the Land.

Return to Theodore Roosevelt Area Home.

Letter between father and sons discusses mother getting the flowers, plum trees, and small pox.  Typed on typewriter.
Letter reads: Dear boys your mother got the flowers and was delighted with them particularly the big rose I took the plums down to her this morning and she enjoyed them immensely if you got them over to the Grant I hope you marked the trees so we can find them so we can dig them up and plant them look out and do not mix with anyone who is about smallpox people. When you get the sills home I will come down and we will get the house started I mean for you boys to build it so you can learn how.

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Last updated: December 15, 2020

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12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225



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