Manuscripts/Mixed Material [St. Elmo W. Acosta]
“I presented a bill to the legislature to give to the city of Jacksonville title to all islands in the St. Johns River dredged up by government operations to widen and deepend the channel, between here and Mayport. These could have been formed into beauty spotsffor picnic grounds and outings, and in case of epidemics some could have been used for isolation purposes.
“I tried for years to get the island, only a few feet under water off Memorial Park, built up and made into a [?] driveway from Riverside to the [Ortega?] section.
“I started agitation for the St. Johns Bridge on September 4, 1904, and I passed House Bill No. 1 in the legislature in 1913 granting authority for the building of that bridge. I dug the first spadeful of earth when construction was actually started on September 25, 1919, and there's the spade,” he said, pointing to rusty spade suspended in the show window. “The bridge was dedicated and opened for traffic July 1, 1921. I worked seventeen years for that bridge and spent about $[6,000?] of my own money in efforts to get it established.
“The beach, or Pablo, as it was called in early days was not popular as a place of recreation because it was so hard to get to. It was a hard drive over the long sandy road. Later there was a shell road built through the Hogan section, called the Hogan Road, which was conducive to more traffic. But after the completion of the fine bridge across the St. Johns, a double concrete driveway to Jacksonville Beach was promoted by the citizens of Duval County, at a cost of $[750,000?], with an additional $400,00 for bridges across the several streams on the route. I gave deed No. 1 for the widening of the sand road to the double-track paved road.
“I advocated the planting of holly, oak, and magnolia trees