Located in Onslow County, Jacksonville is the 14th largest city in North Carolina. Jacksonville was named on Forbes’ list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers in 2014. Jacksonville has a strong military presence and health care industry. Named for President Andrew Jackson, the town was incorporated in 1842 and is part of the early history of the country.
The History of Jacksonville
Jacksonville has a strong and proud history. First known as Wantland’s Ferry, the land was originally purchased in 1736 from King George II of England and awarded to Richard Farr. James Wantland, who was a neighboring landowner, bought it in 1753, and not long afterwards ferry operations began across the New River. A popular landmark today, the Pelletier House was built in the 1850s, which is not part of downtown. It was part of a turpentine business and is now part of the Onslow Historical Society where it’s open for public visits on special occasions.
In the early days, agriculture and river shipping were the main businesses for the local economy. Farmers sold corn, tobacco, hams and peanuts. The fishing industry was also quite profitable in this little town.
Change came to Jacksonville in 1940 when Camp Lejeune was located to the area. The population of 800 doubled in just a few days’ time. Growth continued through the coming decades. Today, about half of the population of Jacksonville is part of Camp Lejeune and the New River Air Station.
What Jacksonville is Like
In 2014, the population of Jacksonville was 69,047 according to the United States Census Bureau. The median age in the city is 24.3 years. It’s no wonder this city has seen such growth in the past 80 years with a cost of living at roughly eight percent below the national average. Offering a diverse culture, the city is home to a variety of ancestries, including German, Irish, English, Italian, and French.
Jacksonville’s low crime rate is another appealing feature of this city. In addition, numerous job opportunities in various industries ensure people of all interests can settle here. The city offers everything from health care and retail to construction and education for job opportunities.
Activities and Attractions in Jacksonville
For a small city, you will find plenty of things to do in Jacksonville. For instance, there’s the Lynwood Park Zoo, which is a small petting zoo with gentle wild animals, such as monkeys, zebras, snakes, birds, and more. Visitors get to learn about the animals and even feed and pet them, making this interactive zoo a popular location for tourists.
Located just a few miles from the city is Hammocks Beach State Park, which is a 3.5-mile barrier island with beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and marshes. Guests to the area can enjoy swimming, observing wildlife, and camping. To reach the island, you must take the ferry or a private boat.
A popular tourist attraction for anyone visiting the area is the Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. Located just a short distance away in New Bern, the attraction is set in the original shop where Pepsi was discovered in 1898. Guests get the opportunity to learn more about the history of the well-known soda and they can even enjoy a drink from a re-created soda fountain.
Another well-known landmark in the city is the Veterans Memorial. Visitors view the grave sites and the names written on the memorial as they walk the peaceful grounds. With such a large military presence in the community, it’s not surprising that this point of interest rates high with tourists. Another area of interest is The Freedom Fountain, which is located next to City Hall.
Anyone who enjoys spending time outside will appreciate the parks in Jacksonville. Five city parks are located in downtown along the New River and Wilson Bay. They offer paths for walking and bike riding as well as shelters for gatherings and picnics. While visiting downtown Jacksonville, guests will want to spend time in many of the local businesses such as the Coffee Bistro and Court House Café.
This small city has something for everyone with plenty of natural attractions, historic landmarks and local shops. Jacksonville provides the small-town feel with larger city amenities, making it a perfect place to visit or live.
City and County Government
The city clerk’s office is located at 815 New Bridge Street in Jacksonville. Here residents can obtain information on various city services and apply to serve on one of the many Citizen Advisory Boards & Committees. The residents and government officials in Jacksonville are always searching for ways to make the city a better place to live, work, visit, and play. Some of the programs citizens may choose to participate in include the Adopt-A-Program, Clean & Green Jacksonville, Memorials & Honors Program, and Habitat for Humanity. Each year, the City of Jacksonville is the host to a variety of events, including Jacksonville Winterfest, Oktoberfest, Riverwalk Palooza at Riverwalk Crossing Park, and Jacksonville Jamboree.
Jacksonville and Onslow County have excellent public schools. The Onslow County school district is one of the 15 largest school systems in North Carolina. In addition to its excellent public schools, City of Jacksonville is home to several institutes of higher education including Mount Olive College Jacksonville, Coastal Carolina Community College, and UNCW Onslow Extension.
Jacksonville is part of Onslow County. The Onslow County administration office is located at 234 NW Corridor Boulevard in Jacksonville. The original county courthouse, built in 1904, and the Summersill Building completed in 1978 are located at 625 Court Street in Jacksonville. The court buildings are open for business Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The buildings are home to the county courtrooms, the Clerk of Court’s Office, and the Register of Deeds office. Citizens of North Carolina can find more information about our state judicial system through the state’s judicial website.
Attorneys Living and Working in Jacksonville, NC
Welch & Avery has an office located at 636 Court Street in Jacksonville. Our Jacksonville attorneys represent clients throughout Jacksonville, Onslow County, Duplin County, and the surrounding areas. As hometown attorneys, we know the court system and staff. We practice law in a variety of areas including criminal defense, family law, civil litigation, estate planning, business planning, landlord-tenant law, and DWI and traffic defense.
Our attorneys believe that our first priority is to provide competent legal counsel and support to each of our clients. When you have legal problems or you need an attorney to assist with a legal issue, we want to be the Jacksonville law firm you choose to represent you. Contact our office online or by calling 1-910-375-7462 to speak with one of our Jacksonville lawyers. We are here to help you when you need an attorney who will listen to you and fight for your rights and your best interests.