Tag Archives: United States Colored Troops

New Story: Part One–River House Apartments/Riverside House/Rochester House

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the search bar or the direction buttons at the top of the page:

Mary Todd Lincoln stayed in this Riverside house when it was located in Brooklyn and called Rochester House. After four months, she fled Jacksonville in the midst of a nervous breakdown. It’s one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood and the last of the hotels from the city’s Victorian tourist age. The nephew of a great Southern novelist has lived here for 40 years. Rachel remembers fondly her very own “River House ghost story.” Click below for part one of the story.

 

Walking the Vanished Old Panama Road

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

The Old Panama Road disappeared beneath the Northside of the city 120 years ago. This story tracks it. It heads north from the murder of Marie Gato, past Club Steppin’ Out, through the diary of a black Civil War soldier reading Lord Byron, a Spanish American War camp teeming with Typhoid Fever and the burning of a sawmill the size of a small town. 

New Story: Chaseville “Colored Settlement” / Fort Caroline Club Estates

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

Little remains of the old “Chaseville Colored Settlement,” where the 1920 census placed America’s first black presidential candidate. Fortunately for his bones, George Edwin Taylor was buried elsewhere, because developers dug up the skeletons of the old black cemetery. Where former slaves of the region’s most prominent plantation families once came to live their lives free, real estate developers built “midcentury modern” Arlington. Poultry farms gave way to Geodesica. Click below for the full story.

Two Centuries of Creativity: William Morgan, McMurray Livery

Click below for the full story.

A complete architectural vision would seem to have assembled itself overnight. In William Morgan’s architectural offices, in the old livery and stables he’d renovated downtown, he drafted designs for homes and headquarters where Isaiah David Hart, the founder of the city, built his own first home.

There was a fire in 1850. There were fires in the Civil War. The Great Fire of 1901 was the third largest urban fire in United States history. In 2012, artist and photographer Tiffany Manning smelled smoke in her studio above where a blacksmith’s shop had stood 100 years before. Firefighters said if she hadn’t been there, the building would have burned down. She writes with light.

Gravely Hill Plantation and Graveyard

Click below for this week’s full story:

Why is the world’s oldest man buried here? Or wasn’t he 133 years old? Where are Jim Domingo, Cyrus and Francisco? And who burnt down the old house on the hill? The kids playing hide-and-seek? Or that ageless wanderer who’d lost count of his wars, trying to keep warm on a winter night?

 

Black Masonic Temple

Click below for the full story:

What these walls have seen! Architects Mark and Sheftall began their own firm in 1912 and with a commission for the grandest building in black Jacksonville. The Black Masonic Temple formed the brick foundation of the black community.

Princess Laura Adorkor Kofi preached her “back to Africa” message here in the 1920s. Future Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Leander Shaw had his offices here in the 1960s. And the tunnels beneath Broad Street would offer protection if Florida’s massacres of black communities at Ocoee, Perry, and Rosewood should spread to Jacksonville. 

Stories of Pine Forest: Incinerators, Klan Crosses, Family Love and Mulberry Trees

Click below for the full story.

The Ku Klux Klan burnt a cross in front of her family’s little woodframe house.

The Clydo Road incinerator burnt as much as 120 tons of trash every day. Donna recalls the black smoke pouring through the trees.

Another Lebanese family, the Johns, lived in the three-story rambling house at 5724.