U.S. Highway 17 was the way to enter Northeast coastal Florida in days past – long before I-95 was even imagined. If you came down from the North in the late 1940s, you entered Florida over a way too narrow bridge over the St. Marys River – the official boundary between Georgia and Florida. The two lane road was well traveled and one of the last cities you would pass through before the bridge was Kingsland, Georgia… just a few miles north of the river. The next city wasn’t until you reached Jacksonville, Florida – a long way south. You can’t really count the in-between hamlets of Yulee and Oceanway – they were home to flashing lights just to make you slow down a bit.
To be the first attraction – or motel – or restaurant – or bar – or whatever along this busy corridor meant something I imagine. Where would the tourists stop to take a picture or pause to, you know, rest? Highway 17 was the bomb – it was the way south. Then I-95 came and it was over in a hurry.
What’s left of the Florida firsts?
After your safe passage over this way too narrow bridge, you would be treated with your first photo op…
All that’s left of some of the ‘firsts‘…
A wonderful place to explore… that first half mile of faded Florida along Highway 17. Many more opportunities to be sure. It was the first motel in now forgotten Florida. The people are elsewhere but the photo ops remain.
Thanks for your visit. As always your comments are appreciated.
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One last shot – a modern I-95 Florida welcome.