A post office community before 1849, it was moved three miles to its present site when the International-Great Northern Railroad was built in 1872. During the 1930s–40s, the city was known as the "Tomato Capital" when more tomatoes were shipped from here than any other city in Texas. Each June on the second Saturday, the city celebrates Tomato Fest honoring the once-important crop. During the 2010 Tomato Fest, Jacksonville earned a new title: "Home of the World's Largest Bowl of Salsa." More than 2,672 pounds of salsa were made, breaking the former Guinness World Record.
More than 60 manufacturing firms—many associated with plastic and wood—are located in Jacksonville.
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