Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

The Saga of the Heart of Jacksonville Motel

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It’s the saga of the Heart of Jacksonville Motel: pop bands and robberies, boxing promoters and unsolved murders. And those t-shirts the cops printed there after one of their own was a suspect. Fire after fire after fire. The motel’s gone, but people still come and stay.

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. 

N.B. Forrest High School and the Other Pandemic: Opioid Addiction

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There’s a desperate addiction problem in every corner of the American landscape. This story is personal. It looks back 30 years to high school, to friendship, to youth, to what strange turns time takes with our lives, to how addiction can turn someone into a completely different person.

The Sudden Discovery of My Mother’s First Apartment, 70 Years Ago

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I never knew she’d lived here. Never noticed this side address. Until the old pack of photos surfaced, 1954. And here is my mother, who died when I was 12. Here she is, 20 years before I was born. I’m 30 years her elder. And I meet her on that cold February night when she was young and the present promised the future was bright.

Remembering the Be-Ins at Willowbranch Park

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For the briefest of moments, it was the most magical time, wild yet somehow innocent. The be-ins at Willowbranch Park in the late ’60s featured a broil of young musicians, out of which rose the Allman Brothers Band. The be-ins meant long hair, beads and tie-dye, hippies walking barefoot through Riverside, cheap rent in old mansions, but more than anything, they meant music.