OCEANWAY, THE IDEAL
PLACE TO LIVE! ~ PART ONE
(Source of photo: Florida State Archives)
PICTURE ABOVE -- The young men with the guitars constituted a "teen tour group" in Oceanway, according to the Florida State Archives. Does anyone remember what the occassion was? The time was 1948, when Dinah Shore sung "Buttons & Bows," America's #1 song. Here's the rest of the year's top ten, from #2 to #10: "Manana (Is Good Enough for Me)," by Peggy Lee; "12th Street Rag," by Pee Wee Hunt; "You Can't Be True, Dear," by Ken Griffin; "Nature Boy," by Nat "King" Cole; "Woody Woodpecker," by Kay Kyser & His Orchestra; "You Call Everybody Darling," by Al Trace & His New Orchestra; "Love Somebody," by Doris Day & Buddy Clark; "All I Want for Christmas," by Spike Jones; and "Now Is the Hour," by Bing Crosby. (Source of info: Goldenoldies-records.com)
Come hop a time machine back to Oceanway, a North Jax community whose residents have enjoyed a skating rink, a bowling alley with hand-placed pins, a drive-in theater with handmade pizza, and a raceway with dragsters, stock cars, and go-carts. Other diversions have included baseball games played on donkeyback and fishing trips made to some of the best angling spots around. Local attention may've even been titillated by a nudist colony! And, by the way, there have long been rumors of a haunted elementary school.
You've passed through Oceanway if you've ever driven up Highway 17 (Main Street) to Yulee. The community is centered on the intersection of Highway 17 and New Berlin Road, about five miles southeast of Jacksonville International Airport.
Many thanks go to First Coast historian Jamzee Ford, who has kindly shared his fascinating research with JacksonvilleStory.com. If every Jax neighborhood could boast of a writer like Mr. Ford, our city would represent one of the best documented places in the USA
THE HISTORY OF OCEANWAY
By Jamzee Ford. "All rights Reserved. Copyrighted September 2004. Published in Jacksonville, Florida."
Note from Mr. Ford: "There may be discrepancies in the spelling of names or in exact dates. Again, this info is based on the testimonies of residents that I interviewed. I also have created a picture book of Oceanway."
Contact Mr. Ford at JamzFord@comcast.net
“Oceanway Farm: The Ideal Place to Live.” This slogan was at one time displayed on an old sign in the middle of Oceanway. This was Doctor Gillespie’s motto. Dr. Gillespie played a big role in the development of this strong, honest, and hardworking community that grew together. For years no one cared to come to this rural area. The only people who knew the secret of this sign’s motto were the ones who lived here. I will tell the story of Oceanway’s History through their eyes. There has never been much written about Oceanway, so my information comes from interviewing some of the people who have lived in the community their entire lives. I am also one of those people, but I never realized how very little I actually knew about this special community until I started talking and listening to its soul, the life long residents. From farmlands to an exploding community, I will try to make the story as accurate, serious, humorous, and detailed as possible. And so the story begins - - -
Where did the community get its name? All of the residents told similar stories when asked this question, “It is on the way to the Ocean.” Before Oceanway, it was referred to as Broward Station and Duval Station since these were the main two train conjunctions in the area. At one time, when there was no such thing as Interstate 95, 9A, or A1A, people had to pass through Oceanway whether going to Fernandina Beach or Jacksonville Beach. The Red Maple and the Bait and Tackle shop next door (corner of Oceanway Ave & New Berlin) became a common stop for fisherman, boaters, and people just visiting the beach, especially coming from Georgia and Nassau County. This is where they would stop to stock up on supplies. The rest of the story was told to me by Lyle Shiferdek, Sr., who has been a resident of Oceanway for 75 years. Him and his longtime friend, Edgart Drury used to row a boat to get from Cedar Pointe to Little Talbot Island. After A1A was built, the state took over the Islands. He said that New Berlin was going to be a new highway that extended all the way to the Ocean. New Berlin runs into Cedar Point, which goes for over 10 miles until it reaches the river at Timucua Preserve and boat ramp. This is where a bridge was going to be built to cross the Intracoastal, however, it was discovered that it was impossible to construct a bridge at this location. New Berlin now forks off at Cedar Point and runs into Hecksher Drive (used to be privately owned), which does lead to the Ocean.
During and after the Great Depression (1929-1941) and WWII (1941 –1945), it was hard enough to survive, but to do it in an undeveloped community added to the hardships. It was nothing but country with dirt roads, except for a very narrow, paved Main street, farms, dairies, a few Ma and Pop grocery stores, a couple of hardware and feed stores, and some of the best fishing spots around. According to Lyle Shiferdek Sr., Oceanway was originally only a mile long. Its growth over the years has made it one of the largest communities in Jacksonville. Some residents believe it extends for several miles to include the entire stretch of New Berlin, Starratt, Cedar Pointe, Eastport, and on Main Street from Baisden Road (entrance to San Mateo) to Pecan Park Road. These are the major roads that pass through Oceanway, anyway. Before San Mateo was built, residents felt that Oceanway extended south on Main, past Imeson Airport and Hecksher drive, all the way to the Trout River because that is where the city limits were for Jacksonville. Oceanway did not consolidate with Jacksonville until September 1968. The Airport moved a few years later to where it is today after buying property from Alvarez. Many residents that live in subdivisions such as The Cape, Eagle Bend Island, Spring Hammock and Black Hammock Island, and these new developments do not consider themselves as a part of Oceanway. They do however, surround Oceanway and have played a big part in Oceanway’s history. They also have to pass through Oceanway to get to most places, so they will be included as a part of Oceanway for the purpose of this report. The actual heart of Oceanway extends from Main St at New Berlin, north to Duval Station Road, from here east to Webb Road, back up Starratt to where it turns into Pulaski Road. Gillespie Ave sits in the middle of all these roads, and therefore is in the middle of the Heart of Oceanway. Regardless, Oceanway is pretty much surrounded by marshland on the North by Eagle Bend Island, The Cape, and Amelia View, the East along Black Hammock Island and Cedar Pointe Road, and South along Hecksher Dr. This is why there are so many favorite fishing spots. A couple of the first fish camps were Shady Rest and Buddy Allen’s.
Establishment & Brief Overview
Many residents told me that Mary Lewis was considered “Mama Oceanway.” Unfortunately she has passed away, but I just wanted to mention that she was at every voting poll, community meeting, etc. Debbie Phillips said that Mrs. Lewis was very community minded and involved, giving lessons on Oceanway’s History to everyone she ran in to. She was always chatting with someone, whether she knew them or not. She portrayed kindness and generosity to everyone. A lot of the stories that will be told in this presentation were passed down through Mama Oceanway.
It is hard to say when Oceanway was actually established, but there were some residents here during WWII. This community was not originally part of Jacksonville’s boundaries. Oceanway had its own township at one time. People have definitely lived here since the 1920’s and on the outskirts since the 1800’s. Some of the first families that actually lived in the heart of Oceanway were the Sheffield’s, Moose’s, Albert’s, Bachara’s, Shiferdek’s, Drury’s, Synder’s, and the Hall’s. All of them were somewhere between Katherine and Drury Road, between Gillespie Ave and Main Street or across the tracks. Shiferdek was on the corner on Main and Elizabeth, the Albert’s and Sheffield’s were on Elizabeth (Tony Albert’s son is still living on Elizabeth), the Bachara’s on Gillespie (Daughter, Nell Lewis is still living on Katherine Dr.), the Moose’s on Katherine Drive, the Synder’s were across the tracks from the Pharmacy on Woodland Ave, the Hall’s were also on Woodland across from the Dairy Queen, and Harvie Drury’s family lived on Drury Road. There was nothing but woods between Drury Road and Duval Station Road.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s, people were given stamps by the government in order to buy food. These were not food stamps. Residents still had to pay for the food out of their own pocket. The stamps simply controlled the amount of food families were allowed to buy, especially meat, during WWII. Everything was limited. There was even a waiting list to buy bullets. A person could not buy tires for a vehicle or a radio for their home. They had to go before a committee to get permission to purchase tires. Burl Kitler (last owner of the Red maple and resident for 68 years) recalls many times how his father would have to stop and patch a tire 3 or 4 times when driving a 2-mile stretch between Dunns Creek Road and Oceanway. The tires were poorly made and wore out very quickly. Also, people had to keep the top half of their headlights painted black. Often sirens would go off, mostly for testing purposes, indicating that all lights had to go off in case of a possible attack. A, B, or C stickers were placed on vehicles indicating how much gas a person needed.
People also were not allowed to butcher animals. David Houston was about the only one who had a stamp to butcher animals in the area. Of course, rumor has it that some residents hid the hogs deep in the woods and butchered them anyway. People had to eat. Resident, Nancy Peters, was informed by her FCCJ History teacher, Mike MacMillan, that Oceanway was an old WWII extension camp and this is where some of the names of the streets came from. Apparently, New Berlin Road was named after Berlin, Germany and Pulaski was named after a Polish explorer. Other Street names have changed since then. Oceanway Ave, which runs along side the Hardware store and what is now the Middle school, used to be called Florida Ave. Kirk road used to be Pleasant Park, etc.
Doc Gillespie and Edgar, his son, or Mr. Beagley (Could not find out 1st name for Beagley) owned the majority of the property in this community. Some residents told me that Doctor Gillespie was not a health doctor that is just the name he went by. He lived on Ponce De Leon Road, which is close to what was Oceanway Pharmacy. Kitler says that Dr. Lamb was the first doctor out here because the community took up a collection to get a doctor out here and Dr. Lamb was the one who took the position. However, Doc Gillespie, along with the Broward’s, played a very big role in developing the community and that is where Gillespie Ave got its name. Gillespie is often referred to as the “Father of Oceanway.” The Broward’s, who have been around the area since the 1800’s, owned most of the remaining land in the area. They were quite a prominent family in this area. They had a big home where North Jacksonville Baptist church sits today by the Trout River. Everyone knows where Broward Road is, which was all owned by the Broward’s. They also owned the land and had a home and Train Depot where Bacardi Rum sits today at Main and Cole Road. Other roads were named after some of the first residents out here also. For example, Elizabeth Lane is named after Mrs. Sheffield. The Sheffield’s owned a Dairy out here. Hecksher Drive was privately owned and was the only way to get to Fort George except by boat. There were 4 toll booths located on Hecksher in order for residents to have access to the road. When the state bought out the road, the tolls were removed.
Many residents, like Mrs. Ellen Riles and Shiferdek remember doing homework by a Kerosene Lamp and using outhouses. It seemed like Oceanway was the last to get everything. Electricity was not out here until around 1952. Shiferdek said when he moved out here, his parents bought 156 acres from Fitzgerald. He said they had it better than most of the folks since they farmed their land and raised 40 head of cattle. When they butchered the meat, they often gave it out to family and friends. They still farm the land and have cattle to this day. Shiferdek’s wife painted many pictures of the farm, including one of snow in the pastures after it snowed in 1989. She was talented in art as well as many other areas. Most of the folks in those days grew their own vegetables and raised pigs, chickens, and/or cattle. Shiferdek’s first job was herding cattle at Owen’s Dairy for fifty cents a day. This gave him money to go to the skating rink on Friday nights.
Besides the farming there were many lumber yards and sawmills that provided jobs to the community. Tom Smith’s had a small sawmill (close to where Bacardi Rum is today on Cole Road) that also provided some jobs for residents of the community. A much larger sawmill was started by Brooke Scallion on Eastport Road. It was said this was the biggest lumber yard that had been around since the 1800’s. Workers could easily load up ships because of the location being by the river. The employees lived in houses on Eastport Road that were owned by the sawmill. It was bought out by St. Regis Paper Mill, which closed for 18 months before being bought out by Seminole Kraft Paper Mill. It is now Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. Another sawmill was Howard’s located close to where Toby’s BBQ is today. Another lumber mill was on Sawpit Road. That’s where the name of the road came from. Men dug pits in order to saw the lumber by hand. One would be in the pit and one out of the pit. Sailors would pick up the lumber, mostly Oak. There was also a lot of carpentry and railroad work in the area, as it was constantly growing.
Nearby Blount Island has also provided a lot of jobs for Oceanway residents. This island used to be referred to as Goat Island because there were a lot of goats living on it. One of the first residents that created a homestead there were the Barchlette’s. They arrived by boat and ended up building there home by taking apart their boat in order to use the lumber. Barbara Johnson remembers the Barchlette’s picking her family up in a boat and bringing them to the island. She remembers riding in a bucket along a 500 foot Pulley that the Barchlette’s created. Barbara’s Dad, Neil Johnson would actually swim from the Dames Point area to Blount Island.
If one is looking at a map of Blount Island. The waterway in front of it is called Dames Point Cut off. Before this straight of way was dug out, ships had to go around Blount Island. Now that ships use the straight of way, they cannot take the old route around because of the big bridge that now allows access to the Port from Hecksher Drive.
There were 3 Dairy’s within 1 mile of each other, the Sheffield’s, The Owen’s, and Moose’s. Jennings dairy and Alvarez’s dairy also provided jobs to people in Oceanway. The dairies actually pasteurized their own milk to sell to the locals. They could not afford to have big corporations involved in the process.
Sheffield Dairy was located on Elizabeth Road and later, after New Berlin Road was developed, moved near New Berlin and Yellow Bluff Road. The road was named after Mr. Sheffield’s wife, Elizabeth Drury Sheffield. Their home was the only one on the street. Elizabeth’s sister, Katherine Drury O’Quinn was married to the owner of Moose’s Dairy on the next street, Katherine Road. The Sumner sisters later married into these two families. Latrell married Elizabeth’s son and Joyce married Katherine’s son. A lot of folks get these two sisters mixed up with the original sisters, Elizabeth and Katherine. Back then, the roads were not paved and had no names, but eventually the roads were named after these two ladies.
Early Businesses Besides the Dairies
Oceanway Hardware, 12707 N. Main Street, 3218: Carol Watkins, the owner, said these people worked hard to survive after the Depression and stuck together as a community to help each other in whatever way they could. Everyday, residents hung buckets of scraps on their fences so the pig owners could collect the food and feed to their pigs. Kaylor & Ina Harris rented a place From Mr. Kitler to run their Hardware store, which was originally across from the school. They later build their own store just a short distance away from the old location, on the corner of Oceanway Ave and Main St. The old location became Moe’s Grocery. It has been established since 1937. Mrs. Harris ran a post office in a space at the back of the building. The Hardware store was sold to Ralph and Pat Connor in 1962. This has been a very strong business and help to the community. To this day, anyone working at that little store can tell anybody how to fix anything and they remember every face that walks through those doors. The store used to not only sell hard ware, but Hodge podgy stuff like fishing and army surplus, wood stoves and spittoons, fresh with ABC (already been chewed) tobacco. That seemed to be the thing to do for locals when they visited the store, was to spit their tobacco in the spittoons that were actually for sale. Yuk!
Residents also enjoyed movies in the parking lot behind the Hardware store. Rolled roofing was wrapped around two cypress poles to serve as the screen. A tent was set up, and a projector was used to show movies like, “Hop along Cassidy,” “Tom Mix,” and “Roy Rogers.” The cost to view the films in the open-air theater was only 12 cents per person. Malcolm Harris, Kaylor’s son, often ran the store and taught Burl Kitler, along with others, to play checkers in his spare time. They used bottle caps since they didn’t have a real game. One person turned his caps up and the other person’s was down, so they wouldn’t get their pieces mixed up.
Today the store carries a good variety of hardware; pool supplies, and maintains a lawnmower repair service out back where the post office used to be. Carol also keeps a display in the corner of her store containing old pictures from the community. This store is still one of the few that greets most customers by name. Everyone is treated like a neighbor. It not only has historical significance in the community, but also symbolizes the kindness and hard work this community was built upon.
Oceanway Pharmacy, 12601 N. Main St. 32218: was another early business in Oceanway. One Conner brother owned the Hardware Store, the other Conner brother owned the Pharmacy. It was not a typical pharmacy like we have these days. He had a soda bar on one side where he served the best ice cream floats ever made. This was a favorite spot for the teenagers. The pharmacy later also served as the post office for Oceanway. There was a separate entrance for Dr, lamb’s office at the south end of the building. The location is now AA Bottled Gas Company.
Root Beer Stand and Civic Club: In the same area as the Hardware store, around 1955, was a Root Beer stand that offered curbside service or brought your order to your car. The main menu item was of course, Root Beer Floats. There was also a Civic Club where residents enjoyed dancing to music from Buddy Holly & the Crickets and Patsy Cline. Elvis was also becoming very popular at that time.
Post Office: As mentioned earlier, the first post office was run from Oceanway Hardware. Residents had mailboxes with Route numbers up and down Main Street. Mail was not delivered to their homes the way it is today. The post Office then moved to the brick building on North Main Street, which is now The Athlete’s Choice Gym. When the Postal service built a new building and moved to 150 Busch Drive in October of 1988, Oceanway Pharmacy took over the postal duties for residents in this area.
Ice House, 12559(I think) N Main St., 32218: there was no electricity in Oceanway until about 1952, so people did not have refrigerators. Burl Kitler told me that when he was a boy he remembers his father wrapping the block of ice in a Kroger sack (burlap) and burying it in the ground to keep it insulated so they would have some for Sunday dinners. The Ice House is now a minute market next to Houston’s Meats.
The Red Maple: This mini grocery store was well known throughout Oceanway, the surrounding communities and by all the beachgoers. Mr. Richardson was the original owner. The store burnt down in 1937, but was built back by 1938. There was a beautiful and healthy Maple tree next to the store and a weeping willow behind it. Everyone stopped by whether for groceries or to play Pac Man. He used to cash everyone’s checks since the nearest bank, Springfield Atlantic, was about 15 miles away on 6th and Main.
Mr. Kitler told about how guys would sit around the bar talking about how much money Richardson must have had to be able to cash everyone’s check. Eventually, it led to a couple of boys robbing the store. One of the boys hit Mr. Richardson over the head with the butt of a pistol as they ran out the door to their get away car. Mr. Richardson was able to chase the boys to their vehicle and took a shot at them, grazing one of them along his head. They returned a shot, hitting Mr. Richardson in the stomach. Mr. Kitler was one of the first to the scene. The boys were easily caught since one needed medical treatment and since they drove a very unpopular car that stood out like a sore thumb, an Edsel. Mr. Richardson survived, but soon sold the store to Mr. Kitler and left Oceanway. This was about the only major crime ever committed in this community so it was a really big deal.
Once the city decided to widen New Berlin, there was no way to save the tree or the store. The Red Maple was to close to the street and had to be torn down. However, Jan Garza has just recently opened a décor and silk shop in the little house that stood just behind The Red Maple. She is anxious to become a part of this community and grow with it.
The Bait and Tackle, 467 New Berlin Road, 32218: was next to The Red Maple. When the owner, Mr. Kitler bought The Red maple, his tackle shop became a Merita Bread Outlet store, something this community very much needed. Later it became a tanning bed location and today it is Hidden Treasures Consignment Shop.
Joel Lee’s, 12642 Palmetto St., 32218 (close to Oceanway Ave where the school is located): This was a Ma and Pop that opened around the late 1940’s. This store lasted longer than most of the others. Kids stopped by before and after school for soft serve ice cream cones and the biggest, juiciest pickles you ever laid eyes on. The couple that ran it lived upstairs. When Mr. Lee got sick, they had to close the store. It was a sad time for all the kids in Oceanway. I still miss the bald, old man who always greeted me with the biggest voice and biggest smile. He made everyone’s day better. The building is still there, with all the same old signs in the windows, but is vacant.
Mrs. Hattie Band’s Store, N. Main St close to Katherine Road: this was another early Ma and Pop store. Nell Lewis, who has lived on Katherine Road for 77 years, walked to this store everyday as a child.
Souds Grocery, 12405 N. Main St., 32218: Mr. and Mrs. Sounds ran the first grocery store in Oceanway. They purchased the building from Kaylor Harris in September 1942. It sat on the corner of New Berlin and Main Street where the Smokers Express gas station sits now. Mosike and Smokey Souds helped the community tremendously through the Depression. Many people could not have been able to eat if they weren’t allowed to run a ticket and pay the bill at the first of the month. At that time there was a black family living across the tracks from Souds. The owners wanted to hire some of the black boys in the family, but because of segregation, they were not allowed to cross the tracks. The Soud’s also built the building right next to the grocery, at 12425 N. Main St, which was first a feed and seed store, and then was later rented out to the postal service. This became Oceanway’s new Post Office. When the Postal service opened up a brand new building in 1988, the old building was bought by Gail and Scott Otto and turned into a gym called, The Athlete’s Choice.
Sunoco & Gulf Gas Stations: Sunoco was located at 12615 N Main near Ponce Blvd, where the Rainbow Food Store is today. Ron Kessler was one of the early owners and later Wayne and Vivian Alexander took over. Gulf was located at Main and New Berlin where the McDonalds sits today. Previous owners of the Gulf were Duke Waldon and later Wayne “Babe” Higginbotham. Both stations were open in the early1960’s and served as competitors to each other. They not only provided gas but fuel such as kerosene and diesel.
M.Z. (Marzee) Moore Variety Store & Moose’s Dry Good: were located across Oceanway Ave from the school from 1954 to 1973. Also in the strip was a barber shop. The strip was built by the Sheffield’s and is still there today. It consists of a pet store, Patterson’s Graphics, and a custom cabinet builder.
Patterson’s Grocery, New Berlin Rd, 32226: Caddy corner to Spaulding, on the southwest corner of New Berlin and Dunns Creek, was a Ma and Pop grocery store called Patterson’s. The building still stands and the name barely shows on it. Although it is vacant, produce vendors often set up their stands in the dirt lot next to the building. I’ve also been told that there has been an Ernest Smith grocery store and a grocery store owned by Mr. Hines on one of the other corners of Dunns Creek and New Berlin Road.
Shuman Cash Supply, 11675 N. Main Street, 32218: this building supply business has been at its Oceanway location since 1962. Before that it was located on Beaver Street.
Mosquito Control, Eastport Road, 32218: known as Northeast Duval County Mosquito Control District, it was started by three commissioners: Napoleon Broward as Chairman, B.H. Moose, Sr. as Treasurer, and Harry M. Johnson as Secretary. Donald Payne was the first director and Richard Smith is now the current director. They were first established out of a private home in San Mateo, but then acquired property on Eastport and started meeting in their new building in 1964. The business consolidated in 1968 with the city government and became Duval County’s headquarters. The two other locations were at the Beaches and Downtown.
Pulaski Road Nursery, 11971 Pulaski Road, 32218: If someone wants healthy and thriving plants, flowers, or shrubs, this is the place to go. These people have been in business since 1967. If you have a question about landscaping, they have an answer. They are even willing to deliver purchases to residents on Pulaski Road for free. The nursery actually started out of the home across the street from its current location. Dorothy and J.W. Cothran sold nothing but hanging baskets out of their home. Since then it has exploded into a landscaper’s dream, now owned by Richard Walden. If they don’t have what you want, they will get it. Edgart Drury told me that Pulaski Road was nothing but a swamp. Then a man who lived on Howard, named Mr. McEwen, used his farm equipment to cut through and create the road.
Pet Creations, 11819 N. Main St., 32218: established around 1970, this business has grown from a feed store to a complete pet store with everything from birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, fish and sometimes puppies. They also have rare animals from time to time. It was started by Donald Ray Owens and is now owned by Kimberly Owens. It is at the opposite end of Oceanway from Spaulding Feed.
Spaulding Feed, 2510 New Berlin Road, 32226: This has been a provider of animal feed and other supplies for all the farms, dairies, and residents who owned livestock. It was built around 1971. Raymond Spaulding was the original owner. Although Odis Whitehead bought the business, the name, Spaulding, still remains the same. It sits on the corner of New Berlin and Dunns Creek. It is now a feed and hardware store.
Winn Dixie (Oceanway Plaza), 12333 Sago Ave W., 32218: Bob Hollandar, resident for 47 years, told me about when Oceanway finally got a real grocery store. The plaza started with a Winn Dixie and Revco. He was in Publix on Dunn Ave one day and overheard some ladies talking. Here is what one lady said to the other: “Have you been to Oceanway Plaza?” The other lady replied: “Oceanway Plaza? Those hicks got a plaza!” The plaza was built around 1972. The Revco is now an Eckerd’s.
Sunrise Daycare, 12422 Woodland Ave, 32218: Terry Musto started this daycare in 1978 and is still doing very well today. It is one of the longest running daycares in Oceanway. However, this was not the first daycare out here. The first one was called Mary’s Little Lambs on Lanier Road, but I could not find any dates of operation. Dunn’s Creek Baptist Church, on Starratt has also been running a daycare for 33 years and is still going strong today.
DeBerry Electric; 13463 N. Main St., 32218: David and Geraldine DeBerry, who have been life long residents of Oceanway, established it in 1980. Their son David Jr. is now President of the company. Their business was built on honesty and hard work. You can be rest assured they will do an honest job for honest pay. Geraldine and David Sr.’s daughters, Kim and Kathy, run Kim’s Electric, which opened in 1991. The competition is tight, since they are only about 1/2 of a mile from each other, not to mention the brother/sister rivalry thing, but all the siblings had a good upbringing in this community and are proud to own businesses here.
Cleo’s Sandwich Shop, 1438 Eastport Road, 32218: This home of the best taco salads in the world was established in 1981. They remind me of the Soup Nazi on the Seinfeld sitcom show. You better know what you want by the time you get to the register. They don’t have time to mess around. They are open for Breakfast and lunch and have lots of orders to fill before closing at 2:00 p.m. There phone line is busy from about 10:45 on.
Marine National bank, 104 New Berlin Road, 32218: Wow, Oceanway finally got its first bank in 1982. It was built on the South end of Winn Dixie’s parking lot. It changed names a couple of years ago to Alliance Bank, and has just recently changed again to Ever Bank of Florida.
McDonalds and Dairy Queen, corner of N. Main St. & New Berlin Rd, 32218: you know our community was finally getting noticed once McDonald’s decided to build out here in 1984. Dairy Queen came along in 1995. It’s been nice having only two fast food restaurants nearby. We have the convenience of fast food, but not the traffic and hassle of a mile long strip of them, like most other sides of town.
Pecan Park Flea Market, 614 Pecan Park Road, 32218: it is near the outskirts of Oceanway and was established in 1987. It is going strong today and attracts many different people from all over Jacksonville and from out of town. The Flea Market considers itself as a big part of Oceanway.
State Farm, Ray Moore, 109 New Berlin Road, 32218: Ray Moore opened this location, across the street from the bank, in 1988 and is still running strong today. He sells auto, homeowners, and life insurance.
Toby’s BBQ, 604 New Berlin Road, 32218: When Robert, the owner of Toby’s, says something, you can take it to the bank. His wife, Sweetie Taylor, probably has a lot to do with that. Almost every Halloween, they host a free community cookout. It is outdoors with fun activities for the kids and a roasted pig with all the fixings. You can be guaranteed to have the best glass of southern sweet tea from Toby’s. Toby’s also hosts many other cookouts in the community and sponsors just about any organizations that are willing to come in and ask. Although Toby’s has other locations around town, this one has been here since October 1991.
In the same strip with Toby’s are a nail salon, a hair-cutting place, a realtor, and a worship center. There used to be an Allstate agent by the name of Bo Jamison in this strip for many years.
Terry’s Grill and plaza, 605 New Berlin Road, 32218: Across the street from Toby’s is Terry’s Grill. This small and cozy restaurant also opened in 1991. It is at the end of a strip that includes T&M Hair Crafters, a UPS store, Buddy Sherwood Dance Studio, and an Amoco gas station. Terry Reese owns the entire complex.
Other new growth: Oceanway now has a Hungry Howie’s Pizza, Big Daddy’s Pizza, nearby Dominoes and the just recently opened Florida’s Pizza, which is in the parking lot of Winn Dixie Plaza. Domino’s was the first to start delivering out here. That’s when we thought we were big time. Pizza places never would deliver to Oceanway before Dominoes. We also have a couple of chiropractors, tanning bed salons, dry cleaners, Threes Company Hair Salon, a Food Lion shopping Plaza on New Berlin and Starratt, the recent Publix shopping plaza on Starratt and Duval Station, R.L. Johnson Plumbing, Oceanway Animal Clinic, and more.
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