By  Mike Miller  Updated August 25, 2023

Glen St. Mary, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Glen St. Mary, Florida is on U.S. Highway 90 just west of Macclenny and about 33 miles west of Jacksonville.   It is a tiny incorporated town of less than 500 people. 

The town is separated from Macclenny by the marshy flood plain of the south prong of the St. Marys River.

Glen St. Mary Nursery HomeGlen St. Mary Nursery Home
Wikimedia, Ebyabe

The town's website says that in 2004 Glen St. Mary was designated Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year.  The website provides no further information.

We are assuming that the award was given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in Florida.

This agency presents the award each year to one rural community that "has engaged in significant efforts" to improve the quality of life for its citizens.


The first non-Native American settlers in Glen St. Mary were Daniel John Mann and his wife LeVicy.  They arrived in 1829 and began a small farm.

The area grew slowly and was known as the "Cotton Field."

After the Civil War, with the cotton operations abandoned, settlers began to come down from the war devastated Southern States such as Georgia and South Carolina.

Glen St. Mary Nursery Office, Wikimedia, EbyabeGlen St. Mary Nursery Office
Wikimedia, Ebyabe

There was also an influx of Northerners who bought land for back taxes that Southerners were unable to pay.

These Northerners were known by locals and other Floridians as "Carpetbaggers," a derogatory term for Yankees who took advantage of Southerners after the war.

What Southerners Thought of Yankee Investors After the Civil WarWhat Southerners Thought of Yankee Investors After the Civil War

Another Northerner from Chicago purchased  abandoned cotton fields near the St. Marys River and planted an orchard.  This grew into the 1,600 acre Glen St. Mary Nursery Company.

The Great Freezes of 1894 and 1895 did tremendous damage to the nursery plants. 

The North Florida operation barely survived, and expanded its operation into South Florida and supplied plants to buyers throughout the world.

Among their products were the Satsuma Orange, Temple Orange, Kumquat, and Magnolia St. Mary.   Much of this production was from original Glen St. Mary Nursery Company stock.

Big things happened in this little community near the end of the 1800s.  A developer from Ohio named Alverdo Geitgey bought 12,700 acres in Baker County.

He platted out the town and named the streets after U.S. Presidents and some of the plants grown by the nursery.


This small town has many of the businesses you see in little communities all over Florida. 

There are hardware stores, several churches, a few convenience stores and a Dollar General.

Baker County High School is also located in Glen St. Mary.  The school's athletic teams are known as the "Wildcats." 

The school has grades 9 through 12 and an enrollment of about 1,400 students.

U.S. 90 is known locally as Mt. Vernon Street as it passes through town. There a few restaurants in the downtown area.

Franklin Mercantile, Glen St. MaryFranklin Mercantile, Glen St. Mary

Franklin Mercantile is an antique store in downtown Glen St. Mary at 7184 East Franklin Street. 

It's at the corner of S. Glen and Franklin. The store is noted for its art gallery and a nice selection of antiques.

Victorian Era Home, Glen St. Mary

The residential neighborhoods in Glen St. Mary are a mix of mobile homes, newer modern homes and old wooden houses that have been around for a long time.

Glen St. Mary Town Hall, Wikimedia Commons, EbyabeGlen St. Mary Town Hall, Wikimedia Commons, Ebyabe

The town is not fancy, it is a real town with real people who live and work here or in nearby Macclenny. 

Although the town is old, it appears to be neat and well maintained.


Glen St. Mary Nursery
7703 Glen Nursery Rd, Glen St. Mary, FL 32040 | (904) 259-6256

As pictured earlier on this page, the family-owned nursery isn't just any plant nursery; it's an enchanting garden oasis that's been flourishing since the late 1800s. As you wander through the beautifully arranged plant displays, you'll be greeted with a riot of colors and fragrances.

The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to share gardening tips and help you find the perfect plant. It's a green thumb's paradise, offering everything from native flora to exotic specimens.

Whether you're a gardening novice or a seasoned pro, Glen St. Mary Nursery promises a delightful and educational outing.

Heritage Park Village
102 S Lowder St, Macclenny, FL 32063 | (904) 259-7275

About 3 miles away, this historical park is a window into the past, featuring restored buildings and artifacts that paint a vivid picture of life in early Florida. Each structure, from the old post office to the schoolhouse, tells its own unique story.

Volunteers in period attire guide visitors through the village, offering insights into the daily lives of Floridians from days gone by. It's not just a trip—it's an experience, making Heritage Park Village a must-visit for history buffs and families alike.

St. Mary's Shoals Park
7867 Odis Yarborough Rd, Glen St Mary, FL | (904) 259-3613

This sprawling natural park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring miles of trails for horseback riding, biking, and hiking. The park's namesake, the St. Mary's River, provides a picturesque backdrop for kayaking and fishing adventures.

Its diverse ecosystems are home to an array of wildlife, making it an ideal spot for nature photography or simply enjoying the serene beauty of the great outdoors. St. Mary's Shoals Park is a favorite escape for those seeking adventure or a peaceful retreat in nature.

Cuz's One Stop Shop
8335 Co Rd 127, Sanderson, FL 32087 | (904) 275-8184

About 8 miles away, this charming country store and diner is a beloved fixture, known for its hearty meals and friendly atmosphere. Step inside, and you'll feel like part of the family, greeted by the smell of home-cooked specials and the sound of local gossip.

Their menu features down-home favorites, from biscuits and gravy in the morning to mouthwatering burgers and fried chicken by lunch. Cuz's is more than a place to eat; it's a slice of local life where everyone knows your name.

Glen St Mary is one of the historic towns featured on:



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