Jacksonville FL History

Page 8

15336.43      Robert 7 BIGELOW, was the son of  Benjamin 6 ( Paul 5 , Cornelius 4, Samuel 3, Samuel 2, John 1) and Eunice (AIKEN) BIGELOW, was born 17 October 1797 at Norfolk, Litchfield, CT.
There is an interesting oral history about Jacksonville that mentions the Bigelow Plantation:
There is more history of Jacksonville including cemeteries and houses including Robert Bigelow at:
jackvil2.htm ; jackvil3.htm; jackvil4.htm; jackvil5.htm; jackvil6.htm; jackvil7.htm

Sayre House, 414 Orange Avenue, 1883.

Arlington Bluff Store, 414 Orange Avenue, 1883

     At times the northern residents who took up homes in Florida came from the same locality. That apparently was the case with the Hulbert and Stevens families, both of whom emigrated from Rushford, Minnesota. Charles G. Hulbert purchased the Francis Richard home at 1300 Oak Haven Road. In 1908 Hulbert's heirs sold the property to John and Lillie Campbell Holden whose family retained it for nearly the remainder of the century. George and Harriet Stevens built a home on the bank of the Arlington River. It no long stands. Mrs. Stevens and Mrs. Francis Richard were instrumental in organizing St. Paul's Episcopal Church in what is now, South Arlington. The original church building, constructed in 1888. was moved in 1977 and again in 1994 to its present location in the San Marco area.
     North of the Arlington River, William Matthews. who had purchased the Sammis property, formed what he called the Arlington Bluff Association to exploit the development plans originally launched by the Florida Winter Home Association in 1873. The subdivision consisted of more than twenty-six blocks, carved out in the rounded peninsula of land that thrusts southward into the mouth of the river. It contained more than three hundred lots facing both the St. Johns River and the Arlington River. Promoters of the subdivision offered to build dwellings on the property and to plant and manage citrus crops on the lands. Matthews invited "Christians of all denominations" to join the association, predicting that the community would become a great winter resort for the thousands who seek to escape the rigors of northern winters. The Association even provided a steamer, the Clifton, to carry residents back and forth to Jacksonville. It made four trips daily to the city. The present-day subdivision derives its name from the landing at which the steamer docked.
     Matthews' residence, surrounded by an extensive grove of orange trees he purchased from John Sammis, formed the centerpiece of the subdivision. Steamships stopped at a dock on the St. Johns River in front of the house to pick up fruit harvested locally. Orange Avenue and Grove Street commemorate in name the grove that occupied the several blocks around the house. One buyer of a lot, B. C. Sayre, constructed two buildings on his property, one an elaborate residence, the other an unornamented building that he converted into a general store. His wife conducted bible studies for black and white children in the upper floor of the store. Sayre's diary records about fifty people in attendance at the first religious meeting. Sayre also purchased roots, berries, and leaves, such as ginseng, vanilla leaves, and palmetto berries from local black residents and shipped the products to pharmaceutical firms for medicinal uses. Sayre continued to operate the Arlington Bluff Store until his death from yellow fever in 1900. Mary Sayre survived until 1920.
     An elegant Colonial Revival style house and, nearby, a large carriage house and servants' quarters were completed about 1883 for John L. and Carrie Stewart. Their only child, Addie, inherited the property upon their death and for a time lived alone in the 32-room mansion, attended by numerous servants. When fortune evaporated, Addie rented the house for a time and then sold it in 1915 to J. K. Lilly, of the Eli Lilly family. Eventually the house passed on to one of Addie Stewart's first boarders, Marcus C. Fagg, manager of the Children's Home Society of Florida, one of the country's largest orphanages. The spacious Colonial Revival style house, named Oak Lynde, and two auxiliary buildings still stand, in fine condition, off Magnolia Bluff Avenue.

Oak Lynde, 501 Magnolia Bluff Avenue, circa 1883.

continued on jackvil9.htm ...............

Modified - 01/19/2003
(c) Copyright 2003 Bigelow Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rod  Bigelow - Director
< rodbigelow@netzero.net >

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)

P.O. Box 13  Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
< rodbigelow@netzero.net >