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Orange Park is a town in Clay County, Florida, United States, and a suburb of Jacksonville. The population was 8,412 at the 2010 census. The name "Orange Park" is additionally applied to a wider area of northern Clay County outside the town limits, covering such communities as Fleming Island, Lakeside, and Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace.The town's name reflects the hope of its founders for a fruit-growing industry, but their crops were destroyed in the Great Freeze of 1894–95. Despite recovery elsewhere, the crops never came back to Orange Park.HistoryOrange Park in the late 18th century was known simply as Laurel Grove. The name Laurel Grove comes from Sarah and William Pengree who received a land grant from the Spanish governor. Laurel Grove was sold to Zephaniah Kingsley of the Kingsley Plantation upon William's death. Zephaniah developed Laurel Grove into a model farming plantation for over 10 years. In 1813 General Matthews invaded East Florida triggering the Patriots Rebellion. After Mathews left East Florida Zephaniah's wife Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley burned down Laurel Grove to keep it out of Patriots hands.The Town of Orange Park was founded in 1877 by the Florida Winter Home and Improvement Company. Following the Civil War, the company purchased several thousand acres of the McIntosh plantation at Laurel Grove, for the purpose of creating a southern retreat and small farming community.
I visited Orange Park, Florida last week, I'm really bummed I have to go home.
by Jake Gant September 21, 2016
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