jacksonville, florida – A long-standing question at River City. Do you pronounce it “lee bart” or “lee bo”?
It’s a famous place in Jacksonville, home to a high school, a river, and a memorial.
The News4JAX I-TEAM worked all day Thursday to get to the bottom of a mystery that has been the subject of much discussion in the newsroom. Some say that the pronunciation of “lee bart” is part of the local dialect. Some argue that we should stick to the French pronunciation.
on wednesday, Seniors at North Jacksonville High School bravely graduated, but from where? It depends on who you ask.
News4JAX called the school and someone answered, “Lee Bart.” However, a school district spokeswoman said the principal was adamant that it was a “lebow.”
To get answers, News4JAX went on a mission and enlisted the help of local park rangers in the Tim Quang Conservation Reserve, hoping to put an end to the debate.
Park rangers spoken to by News4JAX agreed that the name was pronounced “Leebo.”
“Well, maybe my French is a little better, but we’ll try,” said one of the rangers.
The story goes back 461 years.
Jean Ribot was a French explorer who first landed on the St. Johns River in 1562 to establish a colony. There is a memorial at the highest point in Jacksonville. It’s about 65 feet above sea level here in East He Arlington.
Ribot and his men would later build Fort Caroline near the Timucua Indians.
Then came the Spaniards.
“St. Augustine is the longest continuously inhabited area in Europe, isn’t it? All these adjectives wouldn’t matter without Fort Caroline. Fort Caroline was the reason the Spaniards came.” Fort Caroline is what St. Augustine is today,” said National Park Service ranger Luke Kasbarian.
And there was a lot of bloodshed.
“Well, the Spaniards slaughtered the French at Fort Matanzas, so they still slaughter that name today. That’s why they don’t call it ‘Riebo’, they call it ‘Riebo’. Right?” said Kasbarian.
And for many, the name “Lee Bart” stuck.
You have a history class and the final answer seems to be “Ree-beau”.
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https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/06/01/ree-balt-or-ree-beau-whats-the-right-way-to-pronounce-the-north-jacksonville-high-school/ What is the correct pronunciation for North Jacksonville High School?