Tag Archives: jax psycho geo

Conflicting Tales of the Burdette/Clarke House

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This week’s story, as Hurricane Dorian bears down on Florida, proves suitable for stormy weather. The 1887 riverfront house in Floral Bluff isn’t as well known as it should be. It is, however, for sale. Its story involves moonlight shrimping, an “abandoned sanitarium,” and a frustrated artist. 

This Week’s Story: Coca-Cola Bottling Co.

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Helen’s mother could take a sip and tell which city had bottled the Coke. When the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant opened in New Springfield, Charles Guth–“ruthless rascal,” murderer, future president of Pepsi–opened a bottling plant across the street. In later years, William played hide-and-seek amidst abandoned equipment while his parents cleaned at night. 

New Story: Lawton Pratt Funeral Home

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Even today, architectural historians often fail to give Joseph Blodgett his due. Architecture, like everything else in the South, was segregated.

Anyone ready to make a joke about conflicts of interest in funeral homes running ambulance services should also know that Lawton Pratt operated a life insurance office in the building while workers built caskets upstairs in the back.

Mediterranean Southern Gothic

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It’s a Mediterranean yet Southern Gothic masterpiece set beside Little Pottsburg Creek. Drivers on Atlantic Boulevard have wondered at the house for decades. The legends proliferate.

It was Harry Moyer who made this 1920s architectural gem a true work of art. He drenched the original design in his masterful tilework. The house has survived decline before, but it needs you now more than ever.

Suddath / Van Valkenburgh House

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The citrus grove featured the first Satsumas in North America. Robert Bruce Van Valkenburgh had brought them from Japan. He’d raised 17 volunteer regiments for the Union in the Civil War, included the one he commanded at Antietam. The Suddaths called this rambling house home for 70 years and dug old bottles from the bluff. Jessica climbed the roof as a child. 

St. Johns Flower Market’s Long Strange Trip

From Moonies to “flower pimps” to midcentury modern architecture, Click here for the strange and wondrous story of St. Johns Flower Market.

The Beerbower House: Prehistoric Avondale

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The house will ever be imbued with the story of its strange genesis. Casper and Ida ferried coquina to the woods where Riverside ended. When the president called Elsie “predestined to be a star and kissed [her] on the brow,” she told her mother, “You kiss me too. I may never be kissed in the White House again.” Then Tilly had occasion to chat with Lynn Beerbower, to find out “how small boys used to earn their pleasures.”

Emerson Kennels, Centering Love for Animals and People

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For more than half a century, Emerson Kennels has sheltered dogs and helped people. From Dr. Angus Gaskin’s veterinary clinic to “Mac” Macdowell’s German Shepherds, the traveling salesman who boarded his hyena to Dorie Sparkman’s bringing puppies into her elementary school classrooms, this hidden sanctuary folded into the city has meant courage and love and rescue since its beginning. 

Mrs. Martha, in Planting a Living Fence in Floral Bluff Manor, Chose the Right Dildo

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Julia Morton recommended several dildos, including a gliricidia that erupted in “pale-pink flowers in the spring.” Older words related to “diddling” with “diligence.” No dildo fence rises behind the Wash-O-Rama, so what has Jesus to teach us?

Wild Bill of Jax and His Leprosy

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“Will Bill of Jacksonville” had come back home, but outside a small circle of family and friends, he kept his diagnosis a secret. Not only did the disease frighten people, but in this Bible Belt town, it resonated as the plague of the Old Testament.

The Board of Health moved to quarantine his mother’s home on Rural Route 5 in the small western Duval County community of Hart Haven. “In closing,” he wrote, “let me give your readers, each and every one, a personal invitation. I assure you that when you leave, your outlook and perspective on life will be different.”