The Sugar Hill that still survives

Largely razed as a result of mid-20th century discriminatory practices, Sugar Hill was Jim Crow era Black Jacksonville's version of middle class inner city living.

1081 (right) and 1085 (left) Reiman Street. Completed in 1923, 1081 Reiman Street was originally occupied by Jason and Rose Gross. Jason Gross was employed as a packer for the Groover-Stewart Drug Company in Downtown Jacksonville. 1085 Reiman Street was built in 1921 for Samuel and Odious Austin. Samuel was employed as a waiter. Odious was employed as a laundress.

1049 Scriven Street was completed in 1936 for Enoch and Pearl Calhoun. Enoch was a butler who was employed at 4703 Ortega Boulevard in Ortega.

Lawrence and Dennear King were the original owners of 1045 Scriven Street when it was completed in 1928. Lawrence King was employed as a cook.

2036 (left) and 2040 (right) Moncrief Road were completed in 1937 and 1924. In 1938, Harry and Lula Leftwich resided at 2036 Moncrief Road. Harry Leftwich was a retired carpenter. In 1928, Jason Grover and Maggie Carter were tenants at the duplex at 2040 Moncrief Road. Grover was a driver and Carter was a teacher at the nearby Davis Street school. In 1938, Charles and Mamie Walker had moved into Grover’s unit. Like Grover, Walker was a driver for the New Deal Cab Company. Serving the Black community, the New Deal Cab Company was a major Black owned business in Jacksonville during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Built in 1922, 2048 Moncrief Road was the residence of William Marion Raines. Raines was the long time principal of the Eastside’s Franklin Street Public School #146 in the Eastside. The school opened in 1927 as a replacement for the Florida Baptist Academy. Florida Baptist Academy opened in 1892 with 22 teachers and 600 students. In 1918, the school relocated to St. Augustine (now Florida Memorial University in Miami). In 1944, Public School #146 was named in honor of Matthew William Gilbert, the President of the Old Florida Baptist Academy and pastor of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church. After integration, it was reclassified as a junior high school. Raines High School is named in honor of William Marion Raines.

2203 Moncrief Road is one of the oldest residential structures remaining in the Sugar Hill area. Built in 1909, in 1928 it was occupied by Harry and Anice Leftwich. Harry Leftwich was employed as a carpenter. A decade later, Harry Leftwich had remarried and relocated to 2036 Moncrief Road.

2118 Moncrief Road was built in 1923 for Benjamin and Nattrew Livingston. Associated with the historic Allen Chapel AME Church in Campbell Hill, Benjamin Livingston is listed as a clerk for a restaurant operated by Norfleet Gammonds at 101 South Myrtle Avenue.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at