Boulogne, Florida
The Town That Lived On Speeders

by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

Boulogne Florida Location Map

Boulogne Florida Location Map

Somewhere just south of the St. Mary's River and the Florida-Georgia border there was a sleepy little wide spot in the road named Boulogne.


Rhymes with baloney without the y.

US-1, US-301, and US-23 all cross the St. Mary's River on a bridge just north of Boulogne at the Georgia-Florida border. In the days before Interstate 95 was built, most northerners came down to Florida on one of these three highways.

In the early 1950s the State of Florida built a welcome station at this location where tourists could get a drink of orange juice while picking up maps and brochures from tourist attractions.

Although it was the first spot incoming tourists saw in Florida, it looked pretty much like south Georgia on the other side of the river.

The tiny town had a reputation as a speed trap. The speed limit through town abruptly changed from 55 mph in Georgia to 35 in Boulogne with no warning. The local cop was always on duty and looking for out of state license tags.

The AAA identified Boulogne as a speed tramp, and since it was the first place tourists entering into Florida usually went through, it was a source of concern for the state tourism industry.

Well, the politicians in Tallahassee got wind of the situation and warned the town to slow down on the speeding tickets. That didn't work, and the one car police force stayed busy writing tickets, the main source of the town's revenue.

Sometime later, still in the 1960s, the state legislature abolished the town of Boulogne. Not long after, when Interstate 95 was completed just east of town, the tourist welcome center also closed.

Boulogne exists no more except in memory. The old welcome station and nearby motels are in ruins and overgrown with weeds. One of the old motels has been converted into a nursing home.

I'm not sure many people miss Boulogne or even remember it was there.

Comments for Boulogne, Florida
The Town That Lived On Speeders

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Dec 26, 2016
Lived in the area of Bolougne Florida just north of the town of Hilliard in the 60s and 70s.
by: Joe Hendrix

Thought I'd throw in my two cents, for what their worth. I grew up just outside the town limits of Hilliard, south of Bolougne in the 60s/70s. I don't remember anyone talking about speed traps at the time in or near Bolougne, however, the Florida Inspection and Weigh Station is just a couple of miles south of the Florida/Georgia line. The station inspects truck cargo and the weight of the vehicles to insure compliance with Florida law.

Many of the local truck drivers' were known to "by-pass" the Florida inspection station by using back roads to cross into or out of Georgia without being noticed. The state inspection station would position a vehicle to catch those attempting to avoid the scales and inspection.

I don't' recall if these units' ever pulled people over for speeding though. Florida state patrol and Nassau County deputies were known, however, to regularly stop speeders and other traffic violators in this area.

Joe


Mar 19, 2016
other history
by: Daryl Knowles

My father,Willie Lee Knowles was born here on December 23, 1923. He spoke fondly of the people of his youth and grew up to serve in three of the branches of the armed services in his 26 year career.

Jul 07, 2015
Removed Some Comments
by: Florida Backroads Travel

I removed some comments that were personally abusive to the people that live in the Boulogne area. That wasn't the intent of my original article. I just wanted to share a little historical info on the town that was erased by the legislature because it was a speed trap. Many many many years ago.

Mar 10, 2014
Still a bad spot
by: Anonymous

Actually, it's still being run as a speed trap and truck trap by the FHP and the State. The speed limit sign that takes you down to 45 mph from 55 mph in Georgia has been hidden behind the gigantic blue F L O R I D A sign.

One of Florida law enforcement's favorite expressions "Get 'em!"

Dec 05, 2012
Boulogne
by: Anonymous

Boulogne is alive and well. You shouldn't be speeding in the first place. Don't blame the town.

Oct 05, 2011
Bolougne Still Lives................
by: Anonymous

It may be unincorporated but there are some nice businesses there, but more importantly, many of the nicest folks you'll ever meet.

Jan 28, 2011
I remember Boulogne
by: William Blake

I remember the little one horse town all to well. I got two speeding tickets over the years driving from Jacksonville to Waycross.

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