Tag Archives: Jacksonville

New Story: Jacksonville’s Place in the History of Dogs with Guns

Click below for the full story:

With one shot, Diesel entered that subchapter of American history concerning dogs with guns.

Almost every “Dog Shoots Man” story for the past 150 years prides itself on a joke about the dog not being arrested.

New Story: The Strange History of Springfield’s Bungalow Court

Click below for the full story:

In these old photographs, Harry Walters still smiles forward, six years old, holding his Easter basket on a Sunday slipping further and further behind us.

Ironically, by the time Dancy Terrace’s front porches appeared in the 2006 movie Lonely Hearts, starring John Travolta and Salma Hayek, the entire court was abandoned.

Stories 4 and 5 of Coquina Gates: Last Chance and The Gates

Click below for the stories:

For Coquina Gates story no. 4: First House, Last Chance–

Anna died just shy of her 94th birthday, on April Fools’ Day. 2009.

Andrea’s is the original house and the only one the Russells never named. Andrea moved into Anna’s first house while Anna lived in her last house.

For Coquina Gates story no. 5: The Gates–

Barbara knew Jim only at the end of his life. He was frustrated, depressed.

“This is the miraculous site,” Barbara says, “of Jim Russell’s artistry and Anna Russell’s love and care for that vision.”

Coquina Gates, Part 2: Redemption at Chinquapin

Click below for the full story:

The house doesn’t just welcome you. It harbors you. It’s there for you. It’s the earth formed up from itself for the sole purpose of taking care of you.

Destructive forces so often tempered and made stronger the softer forms of the forest.

No creator creates the creation. Humility and awe were materials as integral as wood and stone.

San Marco’s Politico Ghosts Still Lingering at The Towne Pump

Click below for the full story:

After the editor downed 27 shots of Wild Turkey, the Towne Pump hung a plaque on the wall in his honor.

towne-pump

When the mayor’s press aide was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated after speeding away from the Towne Pump three sheets to the wind early one October afternoon in 1977, Tanzler held a press conference saying he’d ordered his staff to stop drinking on their lunch hours.

towne-pump-7

The ghosts of politicos and newspapermen bleed through to our time. Sometimes we notice.

Remembering a Swamp Rose on Silversmith Creek

Click below for the full story:

Along one of the most polluted waterways in North Florida, I walked with her.

silversmith-creek-2-2

I’d find references to the Bigelow Plantation and a Spanish land grant inherited by Jean Baptiste Richard, who died in 1810. The sea hag was five years old.

silversmith-creek-4

“That’s right,” she said. She pointed to the single pink flower: “It’s a swamp rose.”

 

New Story: Christmas Eve, Buffalo Soldier’s House and Pseudo-Brooklyn Apartments

Click below for the full story:

chelsea_6

Some of Les Paul Garner’s earliest memories are of running through a line of his friends with the ball, shirtless and exhilarated and sweating in the summer heat, and learning to ride his bike around the corner on Oak Street.

chelsea_2

New condo dwellers walk their AKC-registered dogs past the last Buffalo Soldier’s house in Brooklyn.

New Story: Bayard Antique Village / Beautyrest Cabins

Click below for the full story:

Reports of the death of Bayard Antique Village from the fire just before Halloween were greatly exaggerated.

br11

The old Beautyrest Cabins in the rural outpost of Bayard became Bayard Antique Village in 1967. Between one-room cabins on the Village’s one-lane road loop: stories of murderous sawmills, century-old ghosts of prostitutes, eyeball candy, not “eye candy,” and clowns.

beautyrest-cabins_florida-memory

New Stories: Barnett Mansion and Springfield Tunnels

Two stories. Scroll down for both.

Click below for the full story about Barnett Mansion:

“There are so many stories in this house,” he says.

barnett-6

In the 1970s, the police saw William Barnett, 1824-1903, standing in the shadows and drew their guns.

barnett-1

Click below for the full story about Springfield Tunnels:

Billy says he and his friends slipped through an aperture into a system of extensive tunnels beneath the Barnett Mansion in Springfield.

img_2085

The great strength of conspiracy theories and urban legends is that you can’t prove a negative.

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

Click below for the full story:

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.

saw1

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

saw9