THIS DAY IN HISTORY: May 3, 2018 marks the 117th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1901. The glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, GA. The fire claimed many buildings including the second Duval County courthouse. Ironically, the first Duval County Courthouse, constructed in the 1840s, was also burned to the ground during the Civil War.
Because all real estate records were destroyed in the fire, to this day, real estate deeds in Duval County refer either to “the current public records of Duval County, Florida” or, if the records predate the fire, “the former public records of Duval County, Florida.” It is the only county in Florida for which that is the case.