Tim Gilmore’s new book, In Search of Eartha White

Eartha White lived in the Mission she founded on LaVilla’s West Ashley Street. She lived with the poor she helped, ate from the food she shared, and clothed herself from the donations she offered. Though she met with business leaders, mayors, governors, and presidents, she never separated herself from the poor it was her life’s purpose to help.

In Search of Eartha White, Storehouse for the People

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Tim Gilmore’s book The Ocean Highway at Night

The Ocean Highway at Night is the story of Old A1A, a lost branch of a bypassed Florida highway, its communities of Summer Haven and Marineland, the world’s “first oceanarium,” the rock shelves of limestone coquina on the beaches, and the mysterious mayors of these coastal podunks.

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New Story: Green Cove Port

Worn-out landscape.

Space Shuttle fuel tank. Arctic Discoverer, treasure hunter disappeared with tons of gold. Rusted dredges succumbing to the ground. Storm clouds.

New Story: the Leon Cheek Castle in Riverside

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It’s built to last 1,000 years–at least. Never mind Hurricane Dora in 1964. Never mind the kids who swung from chandeliers in the “Abandoned Castle” in 1967. Leon Cheek never got to give his mansion the life he envisioned for it, but Jerry Ferguson has.

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New Story: Springfield, 1967, House Fire, What Was / Is

We visit a house that is not there. Oh, but you do it all the time. This Victorian / Edwardian neighborhood, Springfield, just north of downtown.

The h0use was full of smoke. She brought her pocketbook and parakeet downstairs.

Springfield house fire

So much more is gone than present, but all of it is here. If you know to understand it. Everthing’s a double exposure. If you can see historically.

Bobby and Billy

photograph courtesy Wanda Canaday

 

New Story: Abandoned Warehouse in Green Cove Springs

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The swamp permeates upward through the empty factory and warehouse. Economies decline into the soil just like buildings. Snakes hang in the trees. Storm’s coming.

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Green Cove Springs: All Star Building Materials

Two Beach Dive Bars: Ginger’s Place and Pete’s Bar

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Ginger’s Place

Supposedly Ginger’s Place is haunted by the former burlesque dancer who once ran the bar, not by the building’s history of bikers, storm floods, or the former owner who stayed upstairs in her wheelchair after her husband died at the jukebox.

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Pete’s Bar

Ernest Hemingway supposedly visited just about every bar that’s been around long enough. Pete’s Bar has the proof in the pictures on the walls. But how many bars can claim the ultra-reclusive J.D. Salinger came by for a drink?

New Story: Seminole Club / Sweet Pete’s

How does the building that housed Florida’s longest-lasting good ol’ boys’ club become home to a candy maker?

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photo courtesy floridamemory.com

Partially by way of reality-TV. Theodore Roosevelt spoke from the front porch. “Bachelors’ quarters” kept prostitution covert for club members. Women weren’t admitted to the Seminole Club, nor allowed up from the first floor.

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Now Peter Behringer will use the 23,000 square-foot building to teach elementary school kids science through making candy. And maybe a future president will stop by.

The Seminole Club becomes Sweet Pete’s.

New Story: Embers Restaurant

When Jacksonville joined the trend of rooftop revolving restaurants…

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We sneak into the panorama, the restaurant once revolved, strangers are kind, but no gold was hidden in the walls.

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New Story: Palms Hotel and Rooming House

http://jaxpsychogeo.com/the-center-of-the-city/the-palms-hotel/

In 1983, Larry James Bana set afire the boarding house from which he’d been evicted. Seven people died.

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But The Palms, the 110 year old hotel building just north of the Florida Theater, one of the last boarding houses in the center of downtown Jacksonville, still keeps its three floors of old rooms steadily booked.

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photo by Hurley Winkler