Tag Archives: Lee Adams

El Modelo: Sensational Murder Trials, Cuban Revolutionaries

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At El Modelo Cigar Factory, Cuban revolutionaries fomented insurrection. Marie Gato, daughter of El Modelo’s owner, died, bullets to her breast, subject of Jacksonville’s most sensational trial of the 19th century. El Modelo still stands. A practitioner of the law firm that calls the building home claims to have seen Marie’s ghost. Either way, this building’s story shifted history. Click below for the first story in a three-part series.

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.