News and Events

Stay up to date on local Clay County Historical Society News and Events, and Meetings.

News and Events

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General Meetings are free and open to the public.

General Meetings are held at 7 PM on the 4th Monday of each month in the Clay County Historic Courthouse at 915 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

The Clay County Historical Museum is open on Sunday afternoons from 2 – 5 pm except for the Holiday Weekends.

Upcoming Events


Barbara and RyanOn August 28, 2023, the Clay County Historical Society welcomed Ryan Worthington & Barbara Bradley “Friends of Gold Head State Park”.  Barbara and Ryan enthusiastically discussed the History of Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park and presented little known facts about this favorite “get away”.

It is one of the original Florida State Parks featuring several lakes, a fourth magnitude spring that feeds Little Lake Johnson, and a sandhill community now under long leaf pine restoration. Mike Roess (1880 – 1952), a lumber man, donated the park land and it was named after him when he died but only theories persist about how it came to be called “Gold Head”.

From 1933 – 1942 a government relief program after the Great Depression known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided jobs for young men under the supervision of skilled craftsmen and limestone was brought in from a quarry in High Springs. In addition to 16 total cabins, an original building houses the Ranger’s office.

Found on the property, was a grist mill, a cotton gin and narrow-gauge rail line associated with the line connecting Green Cove Springs to Melrose from the 1880’s. A favorite place is the ravine overlook and pavilion 32 made of thick cypress planking built by the CCC.

Interestingly, across SR 21 on the side of Camp Blanding, another park, Magnolia Lake State Park, was built in the 1950’s for African Americans but it was returned to Camp Blanding in the 1970’s.  A historical marker now designates that park.

A rustic and beautiful park, Gold Head State Park, has, for many years struggled to maintain water levels in her recreational lakes but one of them is a deep sink hole estimated to have been created 23,000 years ago.

Next month the Clay County Historical Society will meet at 7 PM  on September 25 in the 1889 Historical Couth House, 915 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs. Guest speaker, Sheriff Michelle Cook will dive into how law enforcement in Clay County has changed in resources and priorities.  Come and bring a friend.  There is no charge and the meeting is open to the public.  For more information email or visit

Cindy Cheatwood

On July 24, Cindy Cheatwood, local author and historian, was guest speaker at the Clay County Historical Society.  Ms. Cheatwood deftly traced a timeline beginning in 1858 when the county was named.   Many of the significant events, people and places were highlighted including those related to the Seminole War and the Civil War, the Yerkes Primate Lab, the Normal School, the ferries of Middleburg, Camp Chowenwaw, Camp Blanding, Lee Field, Cecil Field, Bellamy Road, Hibernia and the hotels from the tourist era. Attendees learned that Hibernia is Latin for island, that Keystone was originally Brooklyn and that harvesting indigo can be quite hazardous to one’s health!

The next meeting of the Clay County Historical Society on August 28 at 7 PM will be held in the historic courthouse in the Historic Triangle, 915 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043.  Guest speakers will be Ryan Worthington and Barbara Bradley who will discuss the little-known history of Gold Head State Park.  The meeting is open to the public at no charge. For more information please email or call (904)284-9644.

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Get in Touch

REGULAR HOURS: Open 2 – 5 PM Sundays except for Holidays

Please remember that we are staffed by volunteers.

In addition to regular hours please call to schedule tours.

Phone (904) 284-9644


Mail To: Clay County Historical Society

915 Walnut Street

Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043

Location: Clay County Historical Society

915 Walnut Street

(in the Historic Courthouse Annex)

Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043


The Clay County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Organization