Tag Archives: jax psycho geo

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. 

How One Corrupt Cop, Worshiped as a Hero, Went Down: The Story of J.C. Patrick

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J.C. Patrick, a colleague said, would serve a warrant on the Devil. Duval County’s chief homicide investigator always got his man. Unless paid not to. Patrick was the common denominator of corruption between the administrations of Sheriffs Rex Sweat and Dale Carson. This is the story of how his son took him down and how his reputation followed.

 

How the Gale House Replaced the House of the Seven Gables

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The house was meant to be a new start, but Emanuel died here just four years later. It was quite the life the couple left behind in Ohio. For half a century, Louise Gale, Emanuel’s widow, made the house home for her daughter, siblings and grandkids, carving the Colonial Revival Jax mansion into the Gale Apartments. Along the way, the old house’s story includes the one-man fraternity “Foo Beta Goo,” stuffed emperor penguins and “Riverside characters.”

Possum Head Swamp at Thanksgiving and Christmas

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Grant and D.J., five and eight years old, built forts and defended them in Possum Head Swamp. Their mother and grandmother made the Christmas Light Trail from the boys’ house to their grandparents’. The seasons rearranged the paths and switched the waters and the lands and taught D.J. that the wetlands behind and beneath and before the city were bigger and older and therefore more real.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Broward House at Pilot Town by Fort George Island

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In its century and a half, the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward house has been empty more than lived in. It hoists its widow’s walk from the roof at Fort George Island. Built by a New York dentist in the 1870s, now the hq of the Timucuan Parks Foundation, the house will forever be associated with Broward, the Duval County sheriff, Jax city councilman, state representative and Florida governor who smuggled guns to Cuba and wanted to drain the Everglades and start racial apartheid.

The Carling / Hotel Roosevelt: Deadly Fire, Tongue Sandwiches and Saturday Night Dances

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It was the deadliest single-building fire in the city’s history, day after the Gator Bowl. Now the Hotel Roosevelt bears its original name again, the Carling, a beautiful place to live and one of five highrises remaining from Jacksonville’s “Year of the Skyscraper,” 1926. Once you could get a tongue sandwich here for a quarter and a whiskey cobbler for 35 cents. 

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.