The Town of Orange Park is a suburb town located Southwest of Jacksonville and North of Fleming Island. The Town was originally established in 1803 as Kingsley Plantation. It covers an area of 5.3 miles, of which, 3.6 miles is land and 1.7 miles is water. The population is over 8,500 and is in the Northeast most part of Clay County beginning at the west bank of the St. Johns River.
The Town has an impressive park system which includes a historic homestead listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Clarke House Park, celebrates Carrie Clarke Day sharing the park’s history and community resources of Orange Park. The town constantly supports festivals, farmer markets, and other family fun filled weekend events. In the Summer at Town Hall, there are free outdoor movies for children of all ages to enjoy. The Town also hosts an annual Fall Festival which draws thousands to the area. One of the biggest events to attend is the July 4th American Pie Celebration where you can enjoy a dynamic firework display over the St. Johns River along with concerts and local vendors.
Some of the advantages of living in The Town of Orange Park are:
Another unique thing about The Town of Orange Park is Moose Haven which is a retirement community on the St. Johns River. They have created their own city and do several activities with the Town, such as Trick or Treat with the community kids where the residence give out candy. They also have vendors, haunted house, and outdoor movies. The community also has a 4th of July celebration along with fireworks over the St. Johns River. Moose Haven is where retired Moose members go to get medical help and have a nice community to live in their golden years. If you are around Town, you will see the Moose Haven residences on the sidewalks on their three wheel bicycles. Some of them even have small motors. They have a very large parcel of land and it is great that the two towns do so many joint projects together.
If you want to wager a bet visit the Orange Park Kennel Club and Best Bet Poker Room. There you can see and bet on Grey Hound Racing live or on any dog or horse track in the county. The upstairs has several types of poker tables. They also have many other Casino Table games that you find in most larger Casinos.
The Town has numerous historic properties, including Club Continental, a riverfront estate purchased in the early 1900’s by B.J Johnson, founder of the Palmolive Soap Company which is Colgate Palmolive today. The mansion was built in the 1920’s by B.J’s son Caleb is still operating today. It is a popular venue for weddings and events. There is a restaurant open to the public on the property as well.
The area was originally known as Laurel Grove named by the original owners Sara & William Pengree who received a Land Grant from the Spanish Governor. Laurel Grove was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley of the Kingsley Plantation. Prior to his death made the land into a farming plantation for over 10 years. In 1813 when the United States invaded Florida led by General Mathews. The Kingsley widow Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley burned down the entire Laurel Grove Plantation to keep it out of the Patriots possession. In 1877, The Town of Orange Park was founded by the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Company. After the Civil War the area became a southern retreat and small farming area. The property was laid out into lots and small farms which is in the area today known as Kingsley Ave and Plainfield Ave area.
The Town was incorporated in 1879 by the Florida Legislature. In January of 1880 it was visited by Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sherman. A large hotel was constructed at Kingsley Ave and had a 1,200 foot pier. The town got its name from fruit farms who grew oranges and were wiped out in the Great Freeze of 1894 and 1895. After this the trees never returned to producing oranges.