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Trip Planner USA  /  Florida  /  Green Cove Springs

Green Cove Springs

4.5
Bodies of Water · Military Museums · Parks
Green Cove Springs is a hydrological spring and a city in Clay County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,378 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 6,908. It is the county seat of Clay County.The city is named after the portion of the St. Johns River upon which the city is built. The river bends here, and the area is sheltered by trees that are perennially green.HistoryThe area was first inhabited over 7,000 years ago by natives drawn by the warm mineral spring. The spring, locally known as the "Original Fountain of Youth", attracted guests in the 19th century; there were more than a dozen hotels near the spring. Today the sulfur-scented spring water feeds an adjacent public swimming pool before flowing the short distance to the St. Johns River. The Green Cove Springs area was first developed by George E. Clarke in 1816 when he was provided land, under a Spanish land grant, to build a sawmill. Green Cove Springs was established in 1854 as White Sulfur Springs. Renamed in 1866, it became the Clay County seat in 1871.Agriculture and tourism were two of the primary economic ventures until the end of the century, when Henry Flagler's railroad began taking tourists further south into Florida. In 1895, the Great Freeze destroyed the area's citrus crops, and tourism all but ended. The 1920s saw renewed development, with automobile traffic bringing in tourists again. The Great Depression of the 1930s saw the end of growth again for the city.
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