Part One of a New Series: What Ever Happened to Beverly June?

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Every day, he replayed the Wednesday he’d come home from work at 6 pm—February 24, 1960—to find his wife gone, the baby crying alone in her crib.

Neighbors said the stranger had been parking a blue 1958 Ford across the street from the Cochrans’ for three weeks and reading a newspaper for hours at a time.

New Story: Farris and Company Slaughterhouse

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Built in 1921, the Farris and Company Slaughterhouse stands both cavernous and labyrinthine. We could easily lose ourselves inside.

Early Arabic business success in Jacksonville occurred in the face of vicious racism. City directories and census forms often recorded Syrian immigrants as “Negro” in the middle of the Jim Crow Era.

Sister Mary Ann at the Church of the Immaculate Conception

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Sister Mary Ann braved the jails, whispered with the condemned. She nurtured soldiers shot, stabbed, battered and dismembered in Civil War Jacksonville. She raised the funds to open the orphanage, and St. Mary’s Home opened on August 15th, the Feast of Assumption, 1886. 

Daily, she’d made her rounds among those dying of Yellow Fever, their yellow eyes and the vomiting of blood, the seizures that mocked demonic possession.

By the time she died in January 1914, “Jacksonville’s Angel of Mercy” had selflessly served the sick, the dying, the condemned, the homeless, the lost, and the orphaned in Jacksonville for 50 years.

Story Cycle: Church Betrayal-The Fat Round Nexus-Trumplican Wedding

Click an image below for the first story. Click the hyperlink at end of the story to get to the next one. Four brief stories comprise the cycle.

the pews left behind in the sanctuary at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church

Fat Round, no longer either, is still a nexus in what remains of Brooklyn

The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary, the church Reverend John Allen Newman created from the dissolution of Mt. Calvary

Brooklyn’s forsaken Mt. Calvary Baptist Church

Blinded by the Lighthouse Replica / First Baptist Church

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Just before Christmas, 1998, several homeowners downtown and just to the north in Springfield said they’d “seen the light” and the light made them mad as hell.

One Springfield resident called the new First Baptist Church parking-garage lighthouse replica “extremely obnoxious, just this blinding glare flashing in our windows.” It seemed like the church had stationed “a spotlight […] right outside the house.”

New Story: Brooklyn: Avon Apartments / Sam’s Grocery (After the Fire)

I’d just written the 111 year old Avon Apartment Building’s story two weeks ago.

Headlines about a Brooklyn, New York fire on the porch of an old house that just burned in Brooklyn in Jacksonville, Florida?

Arlington and Lillian Roads: No ID Required

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Respectfully, Devonte Shipman asks, “What was it that we did wrong, Officer?” This kind of thing has happened to him before. This time, he’s recording it.

Officer J.S. Bolen says, “You crossed the crosswalk! Against the red hand!” He threatens to put him in jail, calls for backup, and tells Vonte that Florida requires its residents to carry an ID at all times.

As though Bolen understands time in neighborhoods deemed not worth time. As though Bolen understands his position as Vonte Shipman’s public servant.

New story: Sawyers Addition and Ritchieville

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The dogs would eat her and her brothers alive, she was sure, but their fear didn’t keep them off their roller skates.

Marian has done some digging into the city’s ugly history. She found that her childhood home was built in 1914, the same year Jacksonville hosted a major Confederate veterans’ reunion, which brought more than 48,000 Confederate veterans to the city’s celebrations.

While the sun room became her grandmother’s room, the “washer and dryer room” became her mother’s. This smallest space opened to the back yard directly.

 

New Story: Avon Apartments and Sam’s Grocery

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Amal recalls her grandfather fondly and considers the 111 year old boarding house an embodiment of Sam Al Hasan. “There’s so much happiness in that house,” she says. “There’s so much laughter and family togetherness and joy.”

Said the Times, “There are subs. There are heroes. There are hoagies, po’ boys and grinders. And in this port city, which has the country’s 10th largest Arab population, there are Camel Riders.”

When the Klan hid and sniveled in a courthouse bathroom

Click below for the seventh story in a series of seven about the KKK in Jacksonville. On June 13th, come to Coniferous Cafe in downtown Jax at 7 pm, to hear Tim Gilmore’s talk “The Klan in Jax: Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse.

A wave of mostly black protesters, about 300 of them, marched against the Klan before Duval County Courthouse on Bay Street, chanting, “Who’s gonna stop the Klan? We’re gonna stop the Klan!”

A black protester named Rose Marie Seay had snatched the white hood off Royals’s head and was parading around on the street with it for cameras.

Klansmen hid in a back bathroom, upstairs in the courthouse. “‘They accused us of being racists,’ one said, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his shirttail.”