The city has gotten much better at honoring its history in recent years, with placards and monuments explaining the history and context of certain neighborhoods or properties. But there are still parts of the city whose pasts are a lot less celebrated.
And some of its historic neighborhoods haven’t even survived to be part of today’s narrative.
Few remnants remain today of certain historic neighborhoods that were lost to redevelopment or some other fate, putting them at risk of being permanently forgotten.
Here are a few of those old neighborhoods and the details still remembered about them today.
Long before Baptist Health and Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital took over the western portion of the Southbank, it was home to a small community known as Oklahoma.
Oklahoma began as land used for plantations owned by the Hendricks and Hudnall families. When landowners Isaac Hendricks and Elizabeth Hudnall got married, a powerful familial alliance was formed resulting in the merger of their properties.
After the Civil War, the plantations were broken up for redevelopment. The family sold off part of their land to be developed as the new town of South Jacksonville, but it kept the western portion to be utilized as a farming-oriented community which became Oklahoma.
The neighborhood grew alongside South Jacksonville, soon abandoning its farming roots and developing subdivisions. It was annexed by Jacksonville in the late 1930s, not long after South Jacksonville was annexed, and the two gradually became merged and referred to collectively by the name of the area’s most prominent commercial district: San Marco.
Today, while remnants of South Jacksonville such as its former city hall building are still present, there’s very little left to indicate that Oklahoma ever existed.