We are looking to buy houses in Clay County!
(Zip codes: 32065, 32068, 32073, 32003)
Jacksonville is a sprawling city in Florida that extends from the countryside to the coast, with many great neighborhoods. The south of the city is made up of diverse communities in Clay County, ranging from planned communities like Fleming Island Plantation, Oakleaf Plantation, and Eagle Landing to sparsely populated rural areas in Green Cove Springs and Middleburg. Obi Buys understands that homeownership can be challenging, and we specialize in solving real estate problems, whether it’s dealing with damaged properties or facing foreclosure due to reasons such as family tragedies, losing a job, medical costs, or unplanned expenses. We offer a fast, fair cash offer, can buy properties as-is, and cover closing costs. Clay County has an interesting history: Fleming Island is a primarily residential area and was a Naval Outlying Field in the past, while Orange Park was founded in 1877 by the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Company, and Green Cove Springs is known for its warm mineral spring that attracted tourists in the 19th century.
In the late 18th century, the area now known as Orange Park was called Laurel Grove, named after Sarah and William Pengree who received a land grant from the Spanish governor. Upon William’s death, Laurel Grove was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley, who transformed it into a successful farming plantation for over a decade. However, during the Patriots Rebellion of 1813, Zephaniah’s wife Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley burned down Laurel Grove to prevent it from falling into the Patriots’ hands after General Matthews invaded East Florida.
Later, in 1877, the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Company purchased several thousand acres of the McIntosh plantation at Laurel Grove to create a southern retreat and small farming community, which they named the Town of Orange Park. The land was subdivided into building lots and small farm tracts, and the present street system was laid out, including Kingsley Avenue and Plainfield Avenue. The town was officially incorporated in 1879 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. In 1880, Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan visited Orange Park, and a large hotel and a 1,200-foot pier were constructed at Kingsley Avenue. Unfortunately, the fruit-growing industry was destroyed in the Great Freeze of 1895.
George Fleming, a military veteran, was granted land from the Spanish government in what is now known as Fleming Island, Florida. During World War II, the U.S. Navy built four asphalt runways on the undeveloped land and established an auxiliary airfield known as NOLF Fleming Island. However, the Navy abandoned the field in the 1960s due to its inability to accommodate the jet aircraft in use at nearby Naval Air Station Jacksonville and NAS Cecil Field. In the late 1990s, the deteriorating runways were removed to make way for residential development. Today, Fleming Island serves primarily as a residential area for nearby Jacksonville, featuring popular developments such as Eagle Harbor, Pace Island, and Fleming Island Plantation. The island is home to the sole high school, Fleming Island High School, which opened in 2003.
Green Cove Springs
The area surrounding Green Cove Springs has been inhabited for over 7,000 years, thanks to the warm mineral spring which has long been a draw for natives. In the 19th century, the spring – known as the “Original Fountain of Youth” – attracted guests and led to the development of more than a dozen hotels in the area. Today, the sulfur-scented water feeds a public swimming pool before flowing into the St. Johns River.
Green Cove Springs was first developed in 1816 by George E. Clarke, who built a sawmill under a Spanish land grant. The city was established in 1854 as White Sulfur Springs and was renamed in 1866 when it became the seat of Clay County. Agriculture and tourism were the primary economic ventures until the Great Freeze of 1895 destroyed the citrus crops and ended the area’s tourism boom. The 1920s saw renewed development as automobile traffic brought in tourists again, but the Great Depression of the 1930s halted growth once more.
During World War II, the U.S. Navy opened Naval Air Station Lee Field in honor of Ensign Benjamin Lee, who died in a crash during World War I. The facility was later renamed Naval Air Station Green Cove Springs and consisted of four 5,000-foot asphalt runways. After the war, the air station was downgraded to a Naval Auxiliary Air Station as part of the greater NAS Jacksonville complex. The mothball fleet of some 500 vessels was housed in 13 piers constructed along the west bank of the St. Johns River adjacent to NAAS Green Cove Springs. The Navy decommissioned the air station and pier facility in 1960, after which the city annexed the former naval base to utilize it for growth and development as the Clay County Port and Reynolds Industrial Park.
Green Cove Springs is the birthplace of Charles E. Merrill, one of the founders of Merrill, Lynch & Company, and Augusta Savage, an African American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Locally, it is known for Gustafson’s Farm, a brand of milk and dairy products sold throughout Florida. The main farm is one of the largest privately owned dairy farms in the southeastern United States, occupying nearly 10,000 acres adjacent to the city limits.
Middleburg had a varied history of names during its establishment in the 19th century. From the 1820s to 1833, it was referred to as Clark’s Ferry after Asa Clark, who operated the ferry until 1828. In that year, the Black Creek Methodist Church was founded, but the congregation met in their homes until the Methodist United Church was constructed in 1847. Fort Heilman was established to protect settlers at Clark’s Ferry, which served as the primary depot for the east coast of Florida. During the Seminole Wars, the fort was utilized as a quartermaster workshop and storage depot but was abandoned in 1841. From 1833 to 1850, the area was known as Gary’s Ferry after Samuel Y. Gary. On September 8, 1853, the name was changed to Middleburg, and the town began trading in timber, citrus fruits, and crops from farmland. When Clay County was established in 1858, Middleburg became the temporary county seat until 1874.
During the American Civil War, the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry had a minor skirmish before attacking Middleburg on October 23, 1864. The following day, they set fire to various buildings and a hotel before retreating across Black Creek and burning a bridge. In a skirmish at Halsey’s Plantation, the 2nd Florida Cavalry caught up with the retreating 4th Massachusetts Cavalry.
By 1890, Middleburg had a population of 700, but in 1895, a severe freeze and a decline in river trade led to a reduction in the town’s growth.
* We are not lawyers, nor are we attempting to provide legal advice in any way. Please always seek the advice of qualified legal council if you have questions about real estate or any other legal matter.