Tag Archives: The Mad Atlas of Virginia King

Springfield’s Florence Court Apartments

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Cyara likes to imagine herself “Queen Florence.” More than a century before, the builder of the Florence Court named these apartments for his wife. On the sidewalk, you’d buy linen spats and a ham and beef tongue sandwich. So why was the architect’s name an open secret for 50 years? Mushrooms grow downward from ceilings. This building’s declined almost all its life. Who’s ready to step forward and save it? 

Story #509: Riverdale Inn / Brazile House / Kelly House

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Walter Brazile founded B & B Exterminating Co. in his rambling old boarding house. He nurtured the business and nurtured people, including Rufus King, Jr., brother of Virginia, author of that 8,448-page book about Jax. William Kelly, turpentine magnate, built the house 115 years ago. Albert O’Neall, though a Quaker, took a job here building bombing ranges. Now the former HQ of B & B has been restored as a bed-and-breakfast. One of my favorite writers stayed here just last week.

The Jacksonville Free Public Library–Whose Heads These Are I Think I Know

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Shakespeare and Herodotus look out across downtown from the tops of these columns. Whose heads would I stake here?

In a special election, Jacksonville nearly rejected Andrew Carnegie’s magnanimous donation for a new library.

I’d still like to find Elizabeth Long. I wonder if she’d touch me the way she touched the armless Hermes.

New Stories: Barnett Mansion and Springfield Tunnels

Two stories. Scroll down for both.

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“There are so many stories in this house,” he says.

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In the 1970s, the police saw William Barnett, 1824-1903, standing in the shadows and drew their guns.

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Click below for the full story about Springfield Tunnels:

Billy says he and his friends slipped through an aperture into a system of extensive tunnels beneath the Barnett Mansion in Springfield.

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The great strength of conspiracy theories and urban legends is that you can’t prove a negative.