1822    Jacksonville becomes official U.S. port of entry

In 1822, inhabitants of the area around the small river crossing called Cowford petitioned the American government to grant their new city official status as a port of entry to the United States. They renamed their new city: Jacksonville.

1845    Jacksonville's port gains prominence

By the time Florida achieved statehood in 1845, Jacksonville was an important port for timber and cotton trades. The city was occupied and burned several times during the Civil War, but by the early 1880ís Downtown Jacksonville had recovered and was thriving as a winter tourist destination.

1895    St. Johns River deepens for the first time

A dredging project deepened the main channel of the St. Johns River to 15 feet in 1895. The dredging cost $1.8 million, which included $300,000 from the first bond issue ever sold by Duval County. At the turn of the century, downtown Jacksonville harbored 30 private waterfront ship terminals transferring cargo between ship and rail.

Discover more about the rise and fall of Jacksonville's port during the first half of the 20th century.