7 Haunted Places In Jacksonville

October 29, 2015 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

If you're the type of person who believes in ghost, ghouls, and goblins, here are few sites in town you might want to avoid this month.

2. The Riverside House

This structure was originally constructed in the 1860s as a resort hotel known as the Rochester House. Originally located near the current intersection of Leila Street and Riverside Avenue in Brooklyn, the building was moved via barge to its present location on River Boulevard in Riverside in 1911. Shaded by wild orange, oak, and magnolia trees, the hotel was known for its boating facilities and fishing. Guests came from New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and other states to rent rooms for $2 to $3 per day. Mary Todd Lincoln may have been its most famous guest. Lincoln came to Jacksonville in late 1874 overpowered with grief and depression, following the death of three sons and her husband Abraham Lincoln.

While at the Rochester House, Lincoln became unshakably convinced that her surviving son Robert was deathly ill. Hurrying to Chicago in March 1875, she found him healthy. During her visit with him, she told him that someone attempted to poison her on the train and that a "wandering Jew" had taken her pocketbook. After she nearly jumped out of a window to escape a non-existent fire, she was institutionalized in an Illinois asylum.

We'll never know what impact the Rochester House had on Lincoln, but many believe the building is haunted. The building was barged upriver to its present location on Riverside's River Boulevard in 1911, and it is said that the ghost of a long departed guest came with it. Visitors have reported the apparition of a young blonde woman in a long black dress, supposedly the bride of a Confederate blockade runner, and say that her footsteps can occasionally be heard on the third floor.

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