There is so much more to Jacksonville than meets the eye. You definitely know that it is the largest city by population in the United States, and you probably know all about the Jaguars, but there are many things you may not know about the city. Here are 10 unknown facts about Jacksonville, Florida.
10. Jacksonville is the birthplace of Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd. Although back when they first formed they performed under the name My Backyard.
9. Jacksonville is home to the country’s biggest urban park system with 111,669 acres of parks.
8. In the early 1900s the Ostrich Farm, located on what is today’s Southbank of Downtown, was the city’s number one tourist attraction.
7. Jacksonville was originally called “Cowford” because of all the cattle herded across the St. Johns River back in the day.
6. In 1916, over 30 movie companies took up residence in Jacksonville. Thousands of silent films were made in the city before the industry made their big move to California.
5. The Treaty Oak, located on the Southbank of Downtown, was planted in 1822. It boasts a circumference of twenty-five feet and is taller than seventy feet.
4. Jacksonville is home to the oldest skate park in the United States, Arlington’s Kona Skatepark. Tony Hawk actually competed at the Kona Skatepark before becoming making it big.
3. In 1901, the first-ever college football game played in Florida happened in Jacksonville. Around 2000 people came to watch the Florida Agricultural College play Stetson University.
2. The University of North Florida is home to more than 500 acres of protected forest and wildlife with hiking trails, fishing, and canoeing, all open to the public.
1. The first River Run, an annual 15-kilometer race, took place on April 1st, 1978. Today, over 13,000 runners participate in the race each year.