|Palm Valley, Florida|
|Nickname(s): "The Valley", "Paradise Valley"|
Location in St. Johns County and the state of Florida
|o Total||14 sq mi (36.2 km2)|
|o Land||13.4 sq mi (34.7 km2)|
|o Water||0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)|
|Elevation||7 ft (2 m)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0308066|
Long before the first Spanish settlers arrived, there was an Indian village in what is known as Palm Valley today. Several Indian mounds have been uncovered revealing points, pottery and human skeletons. Early Franciscan missionaries constructed a mission in the area called The Nativity of Our Lady of Tolomato.
By 1703, Don Diego Espinoza had settled in what is today the Palm Valley area. His vast ranch and the surrounding territory was known as Diego Plains. In the 1730s, the ranch was fortified to protect its inhabitants from Indian attack. By 1739, Great Britain and Spain were at war and trouble was brewing for the Diego Plains settlers. British general James Oglethorpe was commissioned to harass the Spanish settlements south of the colony of Georgia, so the Spanish governor fortified the Diego farmhouse which was already being called Fort San Diego. After Oglethorpe's failure to capture St. Augustine, the Spanish military abandoned Fort San Diego, but other inhabitants moved into the area, living off the land and the cattle.
In 1908, a canal was dug through Diego Plains connecting the San Pablo River to the north with the Tolomato River near St. Augustine to the south. This intracoastal canal made access to the valley much easier for the residents that had settled in this area. In addition to raising cattle, they farmed, logged, and sold palm fronds to religious groups. The many palm trees growing in the region led some of the settlers to decide on the name Palm Valley for their community.
Prohibition turned some of the valley residents to another source of income - moonshine. The abundant water supply and deep woods areas in the valley were ideal for the concealment of illegal whiskey distilling. The moonshine industry thrived even after the Volstead Act was repealed in 1933, but the rising price of sugar finally brought the illegal whiskey industry to an end.
Palm Valley remained a quiet area of the Beaches, between A1A and U.S. 1. There were many farms where produce and livestock were raised. The development of the Beaches has also affected Palm Valley. Today most farms in the valley have disappeared, opening the land for luxurious residences overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
Palm Valley is located at (30.206580, -81.387256).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.0 square miles (36 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (35 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (4.21%) is water.
The Palm Valley Bridge is a recent addition to the neighborhood.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,860 people, 8,188 households, and 5,584 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,480.8 people per square mile (571.8/km²). There were 8,648 housing units at an average density of 644.8/sq mi (249.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.84% White, 1.25% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.80% of the population.
There were 8,188 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $68,200, and the median income for a family was $87,847 (these figures had risen to $84,276 and $112,317 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $58,152 versus $34,738 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $42,747. About 2.4% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.