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Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous.Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad.Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port.Its riverine location facilitates Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the U. Marine Corps Blount Island Command, and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport.Under British rule, settlement grew at the narrow point in the river where cattle crossed, known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and the Cow Ford to the British.
On Black Hammock Island in the national Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, a University of North Florida team discovered some of the oldest remnants of pottery in the United States, dating to 2500 BC.
The Jacksonville Beaches communities are along the adjacent Atlantic coast.
The area was originally inhabited by the Timucua people, and in 1564 was the site of the French colony of Fort Caroline, one of the earliest European settlements in what is now the continental United States.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to feed the Confederate forces.
The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of nearby Fort Clinch.
Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics.