Tag Archives: Jacksonville

Oak Lynde, Home of Jacksonville’s Own Miss Havisham

Click below for the full story:

Jacksonville’s own Miss Havisham, Addie lived alone with her servants in the vast echoes of Oak Lynde, her 32-bedroom house.

As her inheritance ran out, she took in boarders. Some of her wealthiest boarders would eventually own the house.

Today, only eight bedrooms remain.

Pedrica Mendez’s House

Click below for the full story:

When Padrica was a little girl in the 1940s, the Cuban community in Jacksonville surrounded her and her family with love and a yet larger sense of family.

One night as she left the opera in Rome, a photographer snapped her picture, wrote, “in omaggio alla sua bellezza,” or “in homage of your beauty,” on the back of the photograph, and gave it to her.

The fire that consumed the great two-story house next door jumped sparks at Padrica’s house.

Still what most struck Padrica were the cadences she heard in the Orthodox music of ancient Ethiopia that reminded her dearly, tearfully, of rhymes and end-lines from old “Negro spirituals.”

I AM Sanctuary

Click below for the full story:

The “I AM” Sanctuary on Kings Avenue…

…the Wandering Jew

…and the time Benjamin Franklin was Lady Master Lotus.

Anna Fletcher’s Final Home

Click below for the story:

Photographs of ghosts, of ectoplasm. She died here, in her final home, on Riverside Avenue.

The wife of the Jacksonville mayor and longest-serving U.S. senator from Florida testified before Congress, against Houdini, on behalf of Spiritualism.

 

Who Was Chopstick Charley?

Click below for the full story:

It rains through the ceiling on the front corner booth. Everyone’s favorite is the woo dip harr, shrimp wrapped in bacon with sweet and sour sauce. It’s the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city.

“Charley” was “tiny” and “spoke very little English.” His wife, whose name Susan can’t recall, was a broad-shouldered white woman with dark curly hair who stood a head taller than Charley.

 

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

Click below for the full story:

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

Click below for the full story:

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

Click below for the full story:

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.

Blinded by the Lighthouse Replica / First Baptist Church

Click below for the full story:

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?