Historic American Beach

Historic American Beach (HM13YY)

Location: Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 Nassau County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 34.423', W 81° 26.71'

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American Beach was established in 1935 under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, one of seven co-founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, and one of Florida's first black millionaires. His vision was to create a beach resort as a benefit for company executives and as an incentive for employees to exceed in sales. Florida's beaches were racially segregated until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Because of this, American Beach became regionally popular since it was one of the few beaches in the Southeast open to African Americans. Other sites in American Beach trace their history to the Civil War era. Amelia Island was home to several Sea Island cotton plantations, including the Harrison Plantation. In 1862 Union Forces captured Amelia Island and the freed slaves founded Franklin Town at the south end of this island. The Franklin Town cemetery, which had been given by the Harrison family to their slaves as a burial place for their families, still exists today on the west side of Highway A1A. In 1972, encroaching development forced Franklin Town residents to move north to American Beach. Their Methodist Church, built in 1949, was also moved here where it now serves as the church's fellowship hall.

A Florida Heritage Landmark
HM NumberHM13YY
Marker NumberF417
Year Placed1972
Placed ByThe American Beach Property Owners Association and the Florida Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 5:55am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 457313 N 3382444
Decimal Degrees30.57371667, -81.44516667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 34.423', W 81° 26.71'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 34' 25.38" N, 81° 26' 42.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)904
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1840 Lewis St, Fernandina Beach FL 32034, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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