What if the homes in Apalachicola may speak? What tales would they inform?
The Apalachicola Space Historic Society invitations you to come back discover out, by viewing storyboards posted in entrance of about 30 properties and companies between Sunday, Might 2 and Saturday, Might 15.
The storyboards, created by property house owners, inform tales of previous residents, neighborhood occasions and personalities, and historic information. Maps for the If This Home May Speak occasion will likely be out there starting mid-April on the historic society’s web site and Fb web page, in addition to on the Raney Home at 128 Market Avenue and the Flatauer Home at 73 Avenue E. Observe the map to storyboard places throughout city!
To whet appetites for this occasion, we’ve profiled the home at 34 sixteenth Avenue. It’s a beautiful, two-story Queen Anne-style dwelling inbuilt 1902 by William Lenholf Marshall, brother of the extra well-known native builders, George and John Marshall, who got here right here from Baltimore.
Within the late Nineties, William, born in 1873, met his future spouse, Grace Spiller, of Tallahassee, on an outing they each attended at Lanark Village. Grace was accompanied by her fiancé, Edward Burdine, however the day ended badly for Mr. Burdine. Grace returned her engagement ring to him on the prepare again to Tallahassee as a result of she had fallen head-over-heels in love with Will Marshall and knew that he would grow to be her husband.
Will and Grace courted for 3 years, with Will travelling by steamboat to and from Carrabelle the place Grace, a graduate of West Florida Seminary, the precursor to Florida State College, had a job instructing kids. Throughout their courtship, Will was constructing a grand dwelling on the nook of sixteenth and Avenue B, and with scraps and leftover inventory from that job, he constructed a house for Grace and himself subsequent door at #34. The couple married on Might 29, 1901 and shortly took up residence of their new home.
Their first baby, Lenholf (“Skinny”) Marshall was born in 1902 and, as a tribute to him, Will constructed the baptismal font at Trinity Episcopal Church the place he and Grace had been members. Will helped his brothers with their quite a few building initiatives within the metropolis, and he constructed a cultured schooner with workboat origins which he named “Grace.”
Quickly, although, Grace Marshall felt the pull of her hometown, and promoting their dwelling to Will’s brother Richard, one more carpenter/contractor, she and Will moved completely to Tallahassee the place he once more constructed a home for his household. Will turned a Grasp Mason in 1917, a 25-year member of the Kiwanis, mayor of Tallahassee in 1932, and the daddy of three extra kids. He handed away in 1957.
Not a lot is understood about 34 sixteenth Avenue till 1957 when a pair from Virginia offered it to S.B. Henderson, a plumber, and his spouse, Thelma, who in flip offered it to Bobby and Valerie Miller in 1972. Subsequent yr will mark the Millers’ fiftieth anniversary of dwelling there.
As soon as, when Bobby was making some repairs to the within of the home, he discovered a board from the hearth mantel with “W.L. Marshall, 1902” scrawled throughout the again of it. Requested about any uncommon experiences that they could have had in the home, Valerie tells in regards to the time she was vacuuming upstairs and thought she heard a door slam downstairs. Figuring it was her husband, she stored on vacuuming after which, in simply the period of time it will take Bobby to rise up the steps, she felt a heat hand on her shoulder. Considering to offer him a fright, she whipped round and set free a yell, however there was nobody there. Valerie has additionally heard footsteps in the home whereas she’s been exterior gardening, and each she and Bobby say it’s commonplace for them to listen to doorways closing. Valerie additionally typically sees a shadow passing shortly by. However neither one among them thinks a lot of those occurrences anymore. “It’s simply Thelma visiting once more,” says Bobby.
If 34 sixteenth Avenue may speak, it will absolutely inform about its neighbor, Miss Wright, and the home she lived in. She was an eccentric, an easy-going and affable lady who wore winter garments all yr spherical. Very frugal, she at all times shopped at yard gross sales, though she was apparently fairly well-off. She taught at Chapman and was for some time, the best paid trainer in Franklin County. Her home was elegant with a curved porch, shaded by dwell oaks, that missed the bay. It had a widow’s stroll and ornamental shingles, and its entrance door featured a stupendous etched glass window that was as soon as a part of Will and Grace’s home.
Miss Wright died at age 90, simply after the brand new millennium. Round 2008, as Bobby was coming dwelling in the future, he smelled fats lighter and, trying up, noticed smoke pouring out of Miss Wright’s home. The hearth division arrived solely to find that the closest hearth hydrant wasn’t working. By the point they lastly received water to the scene, the home was enveloped in flames and it burned to the bottom. Misplaced within the hearth additionally had been the seven or eight monumental dwell oaks that graced the nook. The lot stays vacant at the moment.
Bobby and Valerie have at all times been informed that each their property and Miss Wright’s had been as soon as a part of a cemetery, and actually Louise Wright discovered two graves on her lot, one belonging to a child, and one other grave unearthed a couple of doorways to the east on Avenue B. These discoveries stand to cause, since close by Lafayette Park is the location of Apalachicola’s first cemetery, however all of the graves there have been finally moved.
If 34 sixteenth Avenue may speak, its most enjoyable story could be of the last decade it was “haunted” each Halloween by Bobby and Valerie. Each October, the couple would spend every week or extra with assist from mates, like Chuck Marks and Mark and Ida Elliott, readying the home for trick-or-treaters who, because the years glided by, grew bigger and bigger in quantity.
They draped the fence across the yard with branches, palm fronds, and Spanish moss to make the place look deserted, they usually wrapped the surface of the home with a large roll of paper from the Port St. Joe paper plant on which Eastpoint artist Lamar Mitchell painted scary scenes. Life-like spiders, bats and cobwebs hung from the ceiling. The yard was transformed right into a cemetery with transferring headstones and waving fingers, achieved by attaching them to cables hooked as much as an previous windshield wiper operated by a 12-volt battery. A black gentle underneath the porch beamed onto the gravestones. On the roof, a witch slid down a cable, bumping loudly on the gutter as she hit it along with her boots, to spook incoming guests who had been already jumpy from the ear-piercing noise and gust of chilly air coming from the air hose Bobby had positioned on the entrance gate. On the porch, Ida Elliott stirred dry ice in a cauldron.
Yearly, Bobby received a casket from Andy Middlebrooks, proprietor of the funeral dwelling. Terry Nobles, the music trainer at Chapman Elementary College, accomplished as much as seem like a vampire, would lie within the casket and periodically elevate himself to sitting place, giving guests the evil eye. Bobby Siprell, dressed to seem like Frankenstein, stood in a nook of the backyard, and a ghost floated backwards and forwards throughout the road. Artistic use was manufactured from lighting and motorized particular results, because of Bobby Miller’s ingenuity.
Youngsters, teenagers, and adults flocked from throughout city to the haunted home. In truth, so many individuals got here that it was virtually unattainable to discover a parking house between 98 and Avenue B. Youngsters would run from the home screaming in terror, and it made such an impression on some that there are grown folks alive at the moment who received’t come close to the home as a result of they’re satisfied it’s haunted.
For extra tales about different Apalachicola homes and companies, remember to participate in our self-guided tour, Might 2 to fifteen. Maps will likely be out there on-line and in arduous copy format in mid-April. Properties can’t be entered, however storyboards will likely be out in entrance in any respect taking part places.
If you want so as to add your home to the group, please contact Pam Richardson on the historic society at 653-1700 or apalachicolaareahistoricalsociety.org.
Pam Richardson is a member of the board of administrators of the Apalachicola Space Historic Society and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donia Smith is the great-granddaughter of William and Grace Marshall and may be reached at email@example.com.