Tag Archives: jax psycho geo

The Story of Storyland U.S.A.

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More than a decade before Disney came to Florida, Storyland U.S.A. occupied 10 acres along the Arlington Expressway, featuring static exhibits of nursery rhymes along dirt trails. Storyland didn’t last long, but it influenced Marc Suttle’s earliest remembered dreams and Cheryl Joseph can still see the witch from Hansel and Gretel. 

The Graveyard by the Front Porch on West 17th Street

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The cemetery lies in the front yard. The side of the house faces the street. The earliest grave is from 1879. The farmland that Elder Eugene Lindsley once fertilized with ash from the city crematorium is gone. So is the Adventist church. Who lies in three of the 10 graves beneath the ancient oak, no one knows.

The Hidden House, by Ted Pappas, a Mediterranean Revival Revival

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This house hidden behind a house on the river, is both classical and contemporary. Ted Pappas designed it when he was restoring the Mediterranean Revival mansion called Epping Forest. Indeed, you could call this house Mediterranean Revival Revival. Its current occupant must go unnamed. He does not speak into his shoe, though he did once have a STU-III.

When the City Dumped Sewage Sludge on the Regency Dunes

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National headlines announced fecal matter raining across the city. Sewage lines collapsed without being replaced. Treatment facilities were overwhelmed. Tankers dumped sewage sludge on the sand dunes behind Regency Square Mall where kids had jumped their dune buggies and dads shot World War II rifles. The mayor jumped into the sludge wars.

The Fisherwoman, Poet and Preacher in the Lost Black Community Called Hogan

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The 92 year old black preacher woman recalls Bishop Noah Nothing and on back to Sister Savannah, who ate nothing but the fish she caught, recited poetry, preached and carried her shotgun everywhere. She lived in the lost settlement called Hogan. Here’s what story still echoes in the landscape.

Updating the Mysteries of the Burdette / Clarke House

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A significant part of the story is chasing dead ends and phantom leads, balancing contradictory evidence, demanding ghosts stand still and be more present. So here’s the story of the Burdette / Clarke House updated, with its frustrated artist, abandoned sanitarium and moonlight shrimping.

How the Applegate House Became Kiley Secrest’s

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When architectural portraitist Kiley Secrest first moved to Springfield a decade ago, he set about drawing it, one house at a time. He illustrated The Mad Atlas of Virginia King, about that strange woman who wrote an 8,448 page book about Jax. He’s fascinated with Fillmore Applegate who built for his wife Stella the cottage Kiley just bought, where he hopes to spend the rest of his life.

The “Dream Hunch” that Spawned a Killing Spree

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In his infamous nonfiction novel In Cold Blood, Truman Capote briefly mentions the colder and bloodier story of George “Ronnie” York and James Latham, whose cross-country murder spree began in York’s hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. National newspapers published the “murder map,” which stretched from Jax to Utah, while Jax papers published the “Route of Death” across the Westside for Patricia Anne Hewett and Althea Ottavio, two Valdosta women who’d decided to play a “dream hunch” at the dog tracks.

The Many Ways of Knowing Beach and Peach Park

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Once, neighborhood kids rode horses here. Then motorcycles. Now they call it the best place in the city to ride mountain bikes. Each story of the woods once called “Mud Hills,” and now Beach and Peach Park, tells a different facet of human experience. The homeless man in the “hut” of stone slabs knows it differently than the neighbor with his scotch who relitigates fourth-down plays from his days as high school quarterback hero. Beach and Peach is Jax in microcosm.

The Ernest & Catherine Ricker House & All Its Many Lives

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The Queen Anne-style Ricker House, with its third-story tower and draped gingerbread, looks like something from a fairy tale. After the Rickers raised their eight children, the house moved from Oak Street to Post Street and back again. Having housed deaths and births, fire and termites, restaurants and school principals, the Ricker House has collected at least 1,001 stories.