Neighborhoods of Jacksonville: Monterey
Monterey is the area of Arlington bounded by the St. Johns River, Jacksonville University, University Boulevard and the Arlington Expressway. Although home to two historic communities dating back to the 1880s, the Monterey we see today is a direct Mid-Century result of the opening of the Matthews Bridge in 1953.
Monterey Virtual Neighborhood Tour
Robert Bigelow and Elizabeth Ann Richard lived at the Floral Bluff Plantation after their marriage in 1832. They used enslaved labor to cultivate cotton, oranges and other crops. During the early 20th century, the Bigelow Mansion was a popular destination for silent films. While the mansion was destroyed by fire in 1950, the Bigelow family cemetery remains on Floral Bluff Road.
5261 Floral Bluff Road was completed in 1915. In 1887, much of the former plantation was acquired by Gilbert H. Shepard and platted into the Floral Bluff community. Shepard served as Floral Bluff’s first postmaster. A 19th century steamboat landing, Floral Bluff lost its individual identity with the growth of the area after the opening of the Mathews Bridge.
Today, Floral Bluff is a mixture of century old frame houses and mid-century homes nestled around the picturesque riverfront bluff.
5401 Burdette Road was completed in 1951.
Lee’s Carroll’s Meat Shoppe dates back to the 1960s.
Listed on the National Directory of Haunted Places, the Chelsea Courtyards apartment complex is known for its extreme poltergeist activity. It is said the front office is haunted by the spirit of Billie Boyd, who managed the complex for more than two decades before dying in 1987. So many strange events happened in Apartment 40 that management decided to stop renting it and converted it into a storage room.
Considered to be home to a force not interested in cohabitating with the living, witnesses describe strange events such as things being thrown, blood-dripping walls and the smell of rotting flesh. Despite no longer being a rental unit, some tenants still claim to occasionally hear whispering sounds and other strange noises emanating from the vacant space. The property is also home to unearthly cat that appears to vanish into thin air when seen. To make matters worse, a tenant who resided in apartment 20 was killed in a 2009 overnight three-alarm fire.
River Bluff Road/Rio St. Johns Drive
Paralleling the riverfront between the Arlington Bridge and Floral Grove, River Bluff Road and Rio St. Johns Drive combines to form one of Jacksonville’s most scenic riverfront residential drives. The one mile winding street is continuously lined with custom built Mid-Century Modern riverfront residents.
1968 River Bluff Road was completed in 1966.