Remembering the East Bay Street District

East Bay Street During the 1920s

The Boat "Spindletop" being christened at Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock and Repair Company in 1946.

Inside the Red Star Market on the southeast corner of Bay and Ocean Streets during the 1930s.  While industrial in use, the majority of companies along the waterfront also included retail storefronts for their products along Bay Street, creating a market-district-style atmosphere.

In the first half of the 20th century, the area that is known as East Bay Street today, was almost wholly industrial- and maritime- related. With the railroad and wharves paralleling a block south, along the riverfront, many firms took advantage of Bay Street's easy access to the St. Johns River.

The most important industry during this era was shipbuilding and repair. With the rise of free trade, deindustrialization, and a movement to clean up the downtown waterfront, many industries began to leave the area in the mid-20th century. Although a number of historic warehouses, factories and wharves were left and available for other uses, the majority have been demolished in the later half of the 20th century. 

MetroJacksonville.com takes a photographic look into the district's amazing past