Durkeeville walking tour

Join The Jaxson’s Ennis Davis, Bill Delaney and Mike Field for a two hour tour of one of Jacksonville’s most historic neighborhoods: Durkeeville. Located just west of Downtown and Springfield, Durkeeville emerged in the early 20th century as a haven for the city’s Black middle class. Today, it’s a pedestrian scale neighborhood with a portion that was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

One Durkeeville landmark is JP Small Memorial Park, formerly Durkee Field. Built in 1912, the park was home to Jacksonville’s earliest minor league baseball teams, including the color line smashing 1953 Jacksonville Braves, which featured a young Hank Aaron. It was also home to the Jacksonville Red Caps of the Negro American League, Florida’s first major league sports team. Other landmarks include several buildings designed by early 20th century Black architects and contractors, the S-Line Urban Greenway, the former Mount Herman Cemetery, Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church and the Oaks at Durkeeville. Originally completed in 1937, the public housing complex was one of the first to be completed in the country.

The tour begins with a visit to JP Small Memorial Park and its baseball museum located at 1701 Myrtle Avenue North. It continues with a walking tour through the Durkee Gardens Historic District before looping back to the stadium. Part of the proceeds go to support the Durkeeville Historical Society (DHS) and attendees can optionally attend the famous DHS fish fry for free. Street parking and parking at JP Small Memorial Park is free. Please wear a facemask and practice social distancing.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through Eventbrite here for tours at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Kids 12 and under are free.