A map showing the community of Donner west of Atlantic Beach in 1949.

Once known as the “The Woods,” much of the land along then rural Mayport Road was owned by Edward Henry Donner during the early 20th century. By 1948, some of Donner’s property was subdivided into a community that had become known as Donner’s Subdivision on the outskirts of the Town of Atlantic Beach.

A map showing the location of Donner, marked in red, in 2024.

Incorporated in 1926, the Town of Atlantic Beach has doubled in population since 1980. As a result, this once rural African American community on the outskirts of town has been engulfed by late 20th century sprawl. However, the vestiges of the area’s past and cultural heritage, including a street grid that doesn’t really connect cohesively with adjacent neighborhoods, and a number of historic Black churches, remain. Here’s a brief look at what remains on the streets of Donner.

Located at 1825 Francis Avenue, Jordan Park is named in honor of Rev. William Holsey Jordan (1898-1985). A native of Georgia, Jordan joined the U.S. Army during World War I in Jacksonville and eventually founded the Jordan Chapel C.M.E. Church.

The Holy Church of Living God Center at 1700 Francis Avenue.

1790 Francis Avenue was built in 1955.

The former Robert Mt. Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1949, the cornerstone was laid for the sanctuary located on Jordan Street.

The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge A.F.& A.M.

1985 Mayport Road was built in 1960.

Driving west on Robert Street.