St. Johns County
It’s easy to see why people have been settling here for nearly 500 years – St. Johns County has something for everyone.
Today, St. Johns County combines the best of both worlds, with its ancient natural beauty providing the backdrop for a contemporary residential and commercial lifestyle. Whether you’re looking forward to a relaxing day at the beach, a game of golf or tennis, a history lesson come to life, or a day exploring the shops of old St. George Street, we have it all.
Residents and visitors enjoy scores of celebrations and events all year long. From the great St. Johns County Fair in the spring, to the acclaimed holiday season Nights of Lights, to a handful of festivals and historic tributes sprinkled in between.
St. Johns County is also known as “America’s First Romantic Destination.” Many people start out visiting and making memories as they stroll along the bay front, or unwind at a first-class resort. Several folks find themselves drawn back here to call this place home, capturing our timeless beauty and easy charm forever…finding it all in St. Johns County.
History of St. Johns County
St. Johns County’s history begins in 1821, when Colonel Robert Butler received Spanish East Florida from Captain General Colonel Jose Coppinger. Butler represented Major General Andrew Jackson, Governor of the Provinces of the Floridas, exercising the powers of the Captain General and the Intendents of the Island of Cuba and the Governors of the said provinces, respectively, who ordained that all of that country lying east of the river Suwaney (sic) should be designated as the County of St. Johns.
St. Johns was established along with Escambia County on July 21, 1821, just eleven days after Butler received Florida for the United States, and only five days from the time St. Augustine was incorporated. The name St. Johns was created from the Spanish Mission (1590) San Juan del Puerto/St. John’s of the Harbor. The apostrophe was dropped in 1932 by the Department of the Interior because the apostrophe showed ownership.
It was a huge county, encompassing more than 39,000 square miles, 475 miles long by 165 miles wide. Further, except for Maine, St. Johns County was larger than all eleven states of the Union at that time. Much of the county was uninhabited. St. Augustine was the oldest European permanent settlement, and there were Native Americans in the county as well.