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Orange Park is a town in Clay County, Florida, United States, and a suburb of Jacksonville. The population was 8,412 at the 2010 census. The name "Orange Park" is additionally applied to a wider area of northern Clay County outside the town limits, covering such communities as Fleming Island, Lakeside, and Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace.The town's name reflects the hope of its founders for a fruit-growing industry, but their crops were destroyed in the Great Freeze of 1894 - 95. Despite recovery elsewhere, the crops never came back to Orange Park.HistoryOrange Park in the late 18th century was known simply as Laurel Grove. The name Laurel Grove comes from Sarah and William Pengree who received a land grant from the Spanish governor. Laurel Grove was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley of the Kingsley Plantation upon William's death. Zephaniah developed Laurel Grove into a model farming plantation for over 10 years. In 1813 General Matthews invaded East Florida triggering the Patriots Rebellion. After Mathews left East Florida Zephaniah's wife Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley burned down Laurel Grove to keep it out of Patriots hands.The Town of Orange Park was founded in 1877 by the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Company. Following the Civil War, the company purchased several thousand acres of the McIntosh plantation at Laurel Grove, for the purpose of creating a southern retreat and small farming community. The property was subdivided into building lots and small farm tracts where the present street system was laid out including Kingsley Avenue and Plainfield Avenue. The town was incorporated in 1879 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. In January 1880 Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan visited Orange Park. A large hotel was constructed at Kingsley Avenue along with a 1,200-foot pier. In 1895 the fruit-growing industry was destroyed in the Great Freeze of 1895.Take a peek at our online itinerary creator: Orange Park and its charms laid bare and easily scheduled.
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