The Great Fire Of 1901 Jacksonville’s Rebirth
The modern day Jacksonville that we have come to know was constructed as a result of the great fire of 1901; a fire ravaging down the old city. The fire is believed to have started from fiber factory within the area. It caused a massive destruction in the city damaging property with costs in the millions and even causing loss of life.
Over 10,000 people were left as refugees in the land after their property and residential houses were burnt. Over 2000 buildings were brought down and about 150 city structures were completely destroyed in the process. One landmark building that survived the fire destruction is the confederate monument situated in the Hemming Park. Despite the large destructive fire, it overcame and remained standing.
The reconstruction of the city was inevitable after the fire. Several architect and engineers were brought on board so as to help in the rebuilding of this beautiful city. They sat down re-designed and re-constructed the city. The many refugees left homeless offered cheap labor in the construction. The cheap affordable labor led to a faster regrowth of the already destroyed city.
Several industries grew in this new establishment. These included film making, banking, insurance and construction among many others. The film industry grew because of the attractive remote sites which had earlier on attracted tourists. With the large population, it was necessary for the people to get banking services and insurance to cover their property and life. The insurance business boomed because it was soon after the fire and the population saw the need of insurance. Insurance for buildings, property and life against fire and theft was almost necessary for every individual.
HOW TAX COLLECTION CHANGED THE ECONOMY OF JACKSONVILLE, FL.
During this time, revenue collection for the county administration drastically dropped as a result of loss of revenue collection jobs. When there is no funds in the county government, the public services are not administered as per the required standards.
Services such as sewage maintenance and road maintenance were greatly affected. All efforts created to improve the tax collection proved futile for the county administration. This led to corruption scandals within the administration offices amongst the workers. When corruption was rampant, the top county office management sent the officers found with these corruption deals packing. This move helped the local citizens to trust their government again.
Jacksonville’s Great Fire of 1901 was the largest metropolitan fire in the American South. The fire began on May 3, 1901 with a spark from a kitchen fire at lunchtime which ignited piles of drying Spanish moss at a nearby mattress factory.
A consolidated government was put in place and this led to more competitive positions and contracts within the county administration to be established. The new government won the people’s trust by lowering taxes for them. This in turn led to an improvement in the economic growth of Jacksonville, Florida. When all this happened, there was need for a more centralized management office.
The new government established ministries to run the various departments in order to ease the administration and create transparency to the people. It divided the services to health, recreation and social services, housing and fire and disaster management. These were formed as ministries in order to make work easier by specialization. The people of Jacksonville were able to find work in a particular line of duty thus they could be happier and more productive than doing a job that they were unfamiliar with or disliked. This set the foundation for the city to become very prosperous.
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