Tag Archives: Cleve Powell

The Story of Lone Star Stables, and the Legendary Claris Jaques

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Claris Jaques was a legend in the landscape. Even people who didn’t know her knew “the woman on horseback.” Her daughter, Joan Vinson, who’d ridden bareback behind her mother since before she could walk, came to know horses best when her parents got her Lightning, and when she witnessed “the Great Stallion Fight.” She buried a horseshoe at her mother’s headstone.

The Story of Tree Hill

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This is the story of Tree Hill, of impounding the creeks for a mill pond 200 years ago; the famed herpetologist and the boa constrictor; the woman on horseback who knew all the land’s secrets; the strange translucent pyramid; of the annual butterfly festival, of a thousand native butterflies taking flight at once.

Exploring the Mysteries of Cosmo and Gullah Geechee North Florida

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Nobody knows how Cosmo got its name. White folks live here, they just don’t know they live in Cosmo. Forged from Emancipation, this historic community of former slaves spoke its own dialects more African than African American. Oh but the buckruh knew how to get their land. Now but vestiges of Cosmo remain.

Willie Browne on the Lost Communities of Fulton and Lone Star

January 1967, Old Willie Browne, who will soon donate his hundreds of acres of forest and bluff to conservation, discusses lost communities with Father Frank Dearing. You’ll find the two stories below:

1) Here’s the lost town of Fulton, Willie’s friend Captain Hole, stories of moonshiners and buried treasure, the digging up of Fulton Cemetery.

2) And here’s the lost black community of Lone Star, one of many in the Arlington area. Here, at least the cemetery remains. Its oldest occupant was born before Jacksonville.

Goat Island, Christopher’s Pier, Rattlesnake Hunting, a Man Shot in the Face, and Tim Gilmore’s Upcoming Book Launch at the Jacksonville Historical Society

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On August 23 at 6:30 pm at the Jacksonville Historical Society, Tim Gilmore will launch, read from, and sign his newest book, Goat Island Hermit: The State of Florida vs. Rollians Christopher. (Your invitation is at the bottom of this post.)

Rollians Christopher, 1955, photograph unattributed, courtesy Florida Times-Union

Here’s an early version of a story that makes its way into the book, a story about Christopher’s Pier, the tavern that protruded from the fishing village over the river for decades, about a Yellow Fever quarantine hospital, about a fisherman whose legs were car tires, about shrimp boats and hunting rattlesnakes, about a man shot in the face.

Goat Island, 1955, prior to its development into Blount Island, photograph unattributed, courtesy Florida Times-Union

You are invited: https://www.facebook.com/events/314940972382209/

Gilmore Cemetery and Settlement

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Irish immigrant Archibald Gilmore founded this settlement in 1885. The Gilmore train station stopped somewhere along today’s Gilmore Heights Road North.

Bill Hawley trudged through the dark wooded night in fear of the escaped convict. The Timucuans were here five millennia before all that.

New Story: Death and Life of a Spanish American War Fort

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The guns never fired. Behind concrete parapets, the two eight foot long, 16-ton “rifles” peered over the bluff, waiting for the Spanish ships to take the St. Johns River into Jacksonville.


Perhaps the spirits they believed haunted these grounds and witnessed walking up from munitions tunnels were the ghosts of their virginities.