The 2-0-1-3 is a big year for Florida.
About 500 years ago, it’s alleged, Juan Ponce de León landed on our Atlantic coast somewhere between St. Augustine and Flagler Beach.
Certainly he landed and then discovered the Fountain of Youth, although historians still don’t really agree about where it is.
Nothing like a little controversy to stink your teeth into.
The city of Jacksonville proper is one of the few cities in the United States where the city limits and the county line are the same.
This makes it the largest city in the state by both population and area.
The Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, about 1.3 million people, surrounds smaller cities and towns that over time have come to be considered “Jacksonville proper.”
“Greater Jacksonville,” however, takes in even more territory in northeast Florida than most Jacksonvillagers™ care to realize.
Since the First Coast extends all the way to Palm Coast, it’s more accurate to acknowledge, for instance, that Gainesville, Green Cove Springs and Palatka really are part of Greater Jacksonville.
Get a map, and let me prove it.
Draw a line from “Jacksonville” to Gainesville. Then draw another east toward the Atlantic through Palatka and Bunnell to Palm Coast. The First Coast makes the third leg of the triangle you just drew.
Say Hello To “Greater Jacksonville”
First, you need to learn some Timucuan, the language spoken by the Indians who have lived in GreaterJax™ for going on 12,000 years.
“Palatka” is European for pilo-taikita, “a place where cattle cross a river.”
Wacca Pilatka was and is the Timucuan name for Jacksonville, which you’ll also see referred to as “Cowford.”
In fact, Pilo-Taikita (Palatka) and Cowford even reported to the same Timucuan chief.
End of Timucuan lesson.
As you may have guessed, Your Greater Jacksonville Examiner is paid to examine the unique and unusual in northeast Florida.
Welcome to her neighborhood.
Happy New Year & Viva Florida 500!
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years, most recently in Texas, is a successful grant writer, knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design and wants to work in the public sector. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org