Pine Forest: A Southside Gullah Geechee Community

Surrounded by modern sprawl-based development, the Gullah Geechee community of Pine Forest is one of Jacksonville's oldest black neighborhoods.

Pine Forest Photo Tour

Located in the middle the Colonial Manor subdivison, the former Red Bank Plantation house is the second oldest building in the city still being used as a residence. The house was built by planter Albert Gallatin Philips between 1854 and 1857. Originally established during the late 18th century, this plantation’s list of owners included William Craig (Craig Creek), Isaiah D. Hart (founder of Jacksonville), Issac Hendricks (Hendricks Avenue), and Philips (Philips Highway named son Henry B. Philips). After the civil war, the house remained in the family’s control while the surrounding plantation land was sold and developed into the historic residential neighborhood that remains today.

Pine Forest Elementary School was completed in 1960. Here, the Duval County School Board and the City of Jacksonville have a joint-use agreement for the school’s athletic and playground facilities, making the school a park for the surrounding neighborhood.

The New Apostolic Shiloh Holiness Church building was completed at 2102 Caljon Road in 1946.

The 9,050 square foot Victory Way Christian Center building was completed in 1987.

This building was completed in 1962 for the Mount Moriah United Methodist Church, a congregation that was established in Pine Forest in 1866. Today, it is occupied by the St. Michael Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church at 3919 St. Augustine Road.

The Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1868 off Vinson Lane, along with the Mount Zion Cemetery. In 1937, it relocated to its current site at 3811 St. Augustine Road.

With the church relocating in 1937, the 19th century Mount Zion Cemetery remains on Vinson Lane, surrounded by industrial warehouses developed in the second half of the 20th century.

The grave of Douglas Anderson in Mount Zion Cemetery. A graduate of Tuskegee Institute, Anderson was a community leader who spearheaded the construction of the South Jacksonville School #107 in 1922. Prior to desegregation, the school served as the only public high school for the south side’s black community. The school is now known as the Douglass Anderson School of the Arts.

Located at 2225 Jernigan Road, The Scrubber is a small hand cleaner manufacturer occupying a 4,000 square foot warehouse completed in 1950.

AAA Screen is a window installation company on Jernigan Road.

2037 Jernigan Road is a 990 square foot shotgun home constructed in 1921.

2048 Caljon Road was completed in 1948.

3924 St. Augustine Road was completed in 1948.

3924 St. Augustine Road was completed in 1954.

3848 St. Augustine Road was completed for the St. Marys Baptist Church in 1959. Today, the building is occupied by Renewed Life Ministries.

3851 St. Augustine Road was built in 1975.

3832 Grant Road was completed in 1962.

The community center in Pine Forest is named after Henry T. Jones. A masonry contractor, Jones was a community leader who built the swimming pool at Pine Forest Park and coached the local youth baseball team for more than thirty years. Jones also organized and served as president of the Pine Forest Community Action Committee.

3910 Grant Road was completed in 1936.

4032 Grant Road was completed in 1945.

Completed in 1973, the Mount Olive Baptist Church is located at 4080 Grant Road.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at