Tag Archives: jax psycho geo

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.

Remembering Roseland House and Kalem Film Studios

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Miriam Cooper came to Jax for stardom, starring in weekly movies for the Kalem Company. She stayed at the tall boarding house, the Roseland, on Clarkson Street between Tallyrand and the river, and played heroic roles dynamiting bridges. The Moving Picture World of 1912 said she had “large dreamy eyes” and was “expert in the use of boxing gloves.” 

Perhaps the only building designed solely by David Kosvich

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It may be the only building designed solely by David Kosvich. He left Chicago for Jax for two years, then went back home. He was only 29 years old when he died. What he left Jax is this magnificent three-story yellow brick apartment building a block from Willowbranch Park.

The Autobiography of the San Juline

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The story of the San Juline Apartments includes artists, historians and Congressmen; social introductions, deaths and secret loves. A great old building has a dense life story. The speaking tubes are still in the walls and on certain nights, perhaps the spectral tour buses from a century ago still make stops from the grand downtown hotels. 

The Story of the Mermaid Beached in a Strip Mall

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The multi-ton marble mermaid hangs out in a half-abandoned strip mall. She seems lonely, castaway, out of place. She’s only here because St. Augustine sculptor Thomas Glover W. offended Beaufort, South Carolina. Strange things can happen when towns commission public art. 

Brewster Hospital in Jim Crow Jax

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The year the old house was built is carved into its porch posts: 1885. It birthed the only hospital for black patients in Jim Crow Jax. Nursing student Lakeshia Sutton stayed with her aunt and uncle in the old building when it was a boarding house and she was a little girl. She feels nursing was a calling, but hadn’t known the “mansion” her aunt called home was “Old Brewster Hospital.”

May be an image of 14 people and people standing

New Story: The Ancient Timucuan Community of Sarabay

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This is the ancient Timucuan Indian community of Sarabay. For more than two decades, UNF archaeologist Keith Ashley suspected it. Now he’s sure. European pottery found here matches notes in French and Spanish writings from the 1560s to the early 1600s. For the Mocama, the Timucuan people who lived here for thousands of years, European contact meant the beginning of the end.

The Strange Florida Gothic Epic of Kelnepa

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The original house exists beneath the house poured on top. Raymond Saleeba remembers his grandmother’s Lebanese cooking and playing with his siblings here as the happiest times in his life. The strangeness came later, with the house redubbed “Tuscan River Estate.” The sports car bought with worthless stock. Multi-million dollar con jobs. Brides who had to find other venues for their weddings.

New Story: Schools Named for Confederates and the Demise of Manhattan Beach

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Joseph Finegan Elementary School, named for a Confederate general, stands where segregated black Manhattan Beach once was. White developers said they wanted “Negroes removed from the oceanfront” and the one business whose family didn’t sell was destroyed in a “mysterious fire.” So, “what’s in a name?” Juliet asked.