So, how did Secret Cove get started?  

As the
1917 Map of Jacksonville shows, there was no lake here in the early 1900s. In fact,
there really wasn't much development south of the St. John's River. If you look near the
center  of the map, you'll see the Florida East Coast railroad line, leading out to the beach.
This rail line is now Beach Boulevard.

Similarly, what we know today as Southside Boulevard didn't exist. Access to the area was
over dirt lanes and a logging railroad.   I've added "Future Secret Cove" to the 1917 map, to
help you get your bearings.

On the
1950 Map, Belfort Road exists, but there is no Touchton Road. The railroads are gone,
Beach Boulevard has been built and there is a two-lane dirt road where Southside Boulevard
will eventually be.

1963, Southside Boulevard has been paved, and Touchton connects Belford Road to
Southside. There is an active strip mine where Tinseltown where be built (in about 50 years).

Between 1963 and 1970, over 8 Million cubic feet of fill dirt was dug out of Tiger Hole Swamp,
to build roadbeds and overpasses for I-95, just to the west of us. In the process, a 23 acre
"borrow pit" was created.

On the
1970 Map, you can see the lake and the dirt access road from Belfort. In the early 70s,
the lake was a popular place for local teenagers, and young adults, to picnic, party and swim.
Some of those young folks are homeowners here today.

In 1976, Amos Allmand laid out the plan for the community, centered around the lake.
This was a big change for the area. The site was out in the country; Skinner's Dairy was still
active. Belfort and Southside were two-lane roads. There was no cable TV. There was a large
trailer park across the street. The Tinseltown area was still a strip mine.

The first homes were built in 1978. By
1981, homes had been built on much of the south end
of the neighborhood. The Civic Association was active from the beginning, and there was a
great sense of community.  The area around us has continued to grow. By
1992, the
neighborhood was essentially complete, Belfort was a four-lane and we would soon have a

Today's Maps and Aerial Photos show the extent to which Tiger Hole Swamp and the other
ares around us have been developed. Publix, CVS, Fedex, UPS, restaurants and St. Vincents
Hospital are just a few minutes away, as is the Town Center. If you need anything, it's not far
Secret Cove Civic Association
Cover Block
This page will develop over time. If you have sales
brochures, newspaper articles, old Communiques,
Board Meeting minutes, July 4 Flyers, photos,
maps or other items you would like to contribute,
please contact me.                          
                                                 Dale Lewis
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