Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Star (Cemetery) Log Date, Monday, 21 May 2014

Another Day, another #CaDiM! This is a repost from last year's CaDiM of May 11, because FPAN was heavily involved in work at this cemetery. Follow that link to see more specific details. For an overview, see below.

Magnolia Springs after restoration work- see also last year's blog

Magnolia Springs Cemetery has a special place in FPAN-Northeast's heart, having worked along with the Clay County Archives since 2010. FPAN-Northeast Director Sarah Miller helped the Clay County archivist, Vishi Garig, do some GPR at the site, and FPAN staff dug a shovel test prior to the installation of a new flag pole at the cemetery, which was purchased by the city of Green Cove Springs. The city put up a fence in 2009 that was based partly on the results of GPR data.

The new obelisk, see last year's blog for installation photos! 

All of the headstones at Magnolia Springs were either vandalized or stolen, so the County Archives and the local Historic Commission performed research (particularly on the Civil War soldiers because data were accessible), and had new monuments installed for them. The County has located a deed that says the first burial in the cemetery occurred by AT LEAST 1840, if not a little earlier. But, it was formally established in 1860. It was once owned by the Methodist Episcopal Church, but it was transferred to the County in 2008.
In 2011 there was a large dedication ceremony marked by the installation of a new obelisk dedicated to both the soldiers and locals buried there, with re-enactors, the Sheriff's pipe band, local dignitaries, and more.

WHO: The Magnolia Springs Cemetery houses both Confederate and Union war veterans, many founding families of Clay County.

WHAT: Magnolia Springs was originally a cemetery established for and maintained by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Green Cove Springs.

WHEN: The property is owned and operated by Clay County, which can be reached at or 904-371-0027 for entrance to the grounds.

WHERE: The site is 1-acre and is located  here (on googlemaps)


-County staff place red flowers on every grave in the cemetery on Memorial Day

-The cemetery was also the site of the Magnolia Hotel, a Spanish land grant

-The grounds were once an asylum for free black children during the Civil War and housed the Florida Military Academy (what would later be re-purposed as the Magnolia Hotel)

-The Magnolia Hotel also had an indigo plantation owned by the British governor Patrick Tonyn.

-There are many unmarked burials that exist unto this day, but there are 38 known individuals at Magnolia Springs.

-Research suggests that one of the first golf course in all of Florida occupied a portion of what is now cemetery grounds

-Numerous local families that still reside in Clay have ancestors buried at Magnolia Springs

Re-enactors gather during the ceremony

Text by Ryan Harke and Vishi Garig,  FPAN staff, Clay County staff. full credit to for some historical context and photo.

To locate more Northeast Florida Cemetery posts, search "Cemetery a Day in May" or #CaDiM

2014 #CaDiM posts

2013 #CaDiM posts
IntroMay 1: NationalMay 2: OakdaleMay 3: Murphy's CreekMay 4: Mt. OliveMay 5: Bosque BelloMay 6: Old CityMay 7: EspanolaMay 8: TolomatoMay 9: PacettiMay 10: West ViewMay 11: Magnolia Springs,  May 12: St. Peter'sMay 13: Gravely HillMay 14: Pilgrim's RestMay 15: God's Little AcreMay 16: Dummet's GraveMay 17: No NameMay 18: St. MonicaMay 19: St. Joseph'sMay 20:  Old St. Joseph's (Duval)May 21: SampsonMay 22: Fernandez ReserveMay 23: St. AmbroseMay 24: Sons of IsraelMay 25: SanksvilleMay 26: HuguenotMay 27: Nombre de DiosMay 28: BeresfordMay 29: JonesMay 30: San Sebastian/PinehurstMay 31: Oaklynn

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