Welcome to the Historical Society of Orange Park
Let's make our community a better place!
Let's make our community a better place!
Taking care of our neighbors makes for a stronger community. Looking out for one another ensures a safer and happier neighborhood. When we all do a little, we can do so much!
The Historical Society of Orange Park was organized to educate the community about the rich and dynamic history of Orange Park, which was founded in 1877. The society collects, preserves and displays printed materials of historical value and facilitates educational and historical events.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. The Society has opportunities for research, community service and leadership, offering the chance to learn and share local history in a variety of ways. Opportunities include digitizing historical documents, helping with podcast creation, live-history re-enactment
We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. The Society has opportunities for research, community service and leadership, offering the chance to learn and share local history in a variety of ways. Opportunities include digitizing historical documents, helping with podcast creation, live-history re-enactment and more. We offer people of all ages a chance to help others tell the story. By joining the Society, even if for just one project, you will be fascinated by what there is to learn.
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you! We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.
Quarterly Meeting: 5:30 PM, Tuesday, June 6 at the Clarke House
Our next quarterly meeting will be held at 5:30 PM, Tuesday, June 6 at the Clarke House located at 1039 Kingsley Avenue. Our featured speaker will be Mr. Eugene Nix. Eugene will share his recollections of growing up in Orange Park in the 1960’s. The 1960’s were a time of transition for Orange Park. In many ways it was still a small town where children could roam freely and traffic was not an issue but outside forces were driving growth in the area, changing the character of the town in the process. We look forward to seeing you on June 6.
At the Carrie Clarke Day event on March 4, The Historical Society of Orange Park recognized a very special and dedicated group of volunteers with the Earl Harrington Community Service Award. The American Legion Post 250 Riders have had a longstanding relationship with the Society and the Veterans Memorial of Orange Park.
The Post 250 Riders have been both promoting and fundraising for the Veterans Memorial since it was a watercolor rendering on a piece of paper. They began fundraising for the Veterans Memorial by selling hamburgers and hot dogs at Adamec’s Harley Davidson on Wells Road and continued doing that for years to help procure the funds necessary to break ground on the Veterans Memorial. They have donated funds from their activities for years and most recently supported the maintenance project of paver replacement with a donation from their membership of $2,000!
Their commitment to this project is evidenced by the fact that the Post 250 Rider’s team has been a part of every single Veterans Day activity beginning with the groundbreaking ceremony on November 11, 2011, the dedication ceremony in 2012 and every Veterans Day ceremony since then. Their dedication to the Veterans Memorial and Orange Park community is worthy of the spirit and intent of the Earl Harrington Community Service Award.
The Clarke House, built in 1912 and located in Clarke House Park, 1039 Kingsley Avenue, is open for tours the second Sunday of each month from 2 PM to 4 PM. Sunday afternoons are the perfect time for a leisurely tour of the house, both upstairs and downstairs.
Please note that our scheduled open house tours for June have been cancelled. Tours will return on the second Sunday of July.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, the Historical Society of Orange Park is highlighting the town’s history, decade by decade. This month we look at the 1960s.
The town got a new library in the 1960s, on the site of the old Normal School. The first graduating class of Orange Park High School was celebrated in1962. The following year, the Orange Park Athletic Association was created offering generations of town kids a chance to play ball. The Garden Club installed a Blue Star Memorial on Highway 17 (now located near the Veterans Memorial) and the Monkey Farm operations moved to Atlanta’s Emory University. Regular passenger railroad service with a stop in Orange Park ended. Caleb and Fricka Massee, bought Mira Rio and converted it into Club Continental. The Orange Park Lions Club started in 1966.
In the late 1960’s, Navy Cmdr. Michael Hoff brought his wife, Mary and five children to live in Orange while he served in Vietnam. He never returned but Mary’s POW flag made history on his behalf. In 1969, the Rotary Club of Orange Park started. By the end of the decade growth in the town took the population over 2,600.
The Society will be placing our single 2023 paver order on July 30, 2023. This allows time for the purchase, engraving, and shipping from the vendor. It also insures our local installer team has sufficient time to install the newly acquired pavers prior to November 11, 2023 for our Annual Veterans Day Ceremony.
Paver order forms can be downloaded from our Veterans Memorial page. Look for the link at the bottom of the page. Just click the button at the bottom of this section to be redirected.
The cost of an engraved paver is $100.00.
The paver order form can be printed and mailed with payment to:
P.O. Box 08
Orange Park, FL 32067
If you have been considering dedicating a paver for a family member or friend, please keep this date in mind.
September 17th is a date set aside each year to recognize the anniversary of the US Constitution, the foundation of our very identity as a nation. We in the Historical Society encourage recognition of this holiday and all it represents.
Our friends at the DAR are striving to be more effective in the education of and appreciation for the Constitution and invite our readers to assist. They intend to provide displays in the public libraries, request a proclamation from the Clay County Board of Commissioners, provide information in the schools, and have a bell ringing ceremony at 4 PM at the Orange Park Library on Sunday, September 17.
In addition to these things, they are asking local businesses to place Constitution Week dates on their digital signs. If you are affiliated with such a business or organization, they would like you to promote this effort. Also, if you are someone who dresses in period clothing and speaks to local groups, they would love to enlist you for this cause. Finally, if you have ideas about how our organization could assist the DAR Chapter to promote Constitution Week, please share those with us at ophistory.org so that we can tell the ladies.
Please click the links below to obtain a copy of our current newsletter or a recent newsletter.
Historical Society of Orange Park
P.O. Box 08, Orange Park, Florida 32067
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