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At the Jacksonville Historical Society, we’re making history every day. Our monthly Speakers Series offers in-depth information on surprising and diverse aspects of our city’s past, and our fun Pop Up events are designed to bring attention to the forgotten history buried in our own back yard. Throughout the year, we also lead countless school groups on “insider tours” of our city’s most significant landmarks and events. Why don’t you join us?

Film Debut: Jacksonville History in 30 Minutes!
May 21 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Film Debut: Jacksonville History in 30 Minutes! @ Old St. Andrews | Jacksonville | Florida | United States

Debuting a Jacksonville Historical Society film–Jacksonville History in 30 Minutes! The history of the town in 30 minutes? Wll, the high points are covered: the French colony of La Caroline; the founding of Cowford; a town in ruins post Civil War; a winter tourist destination and movie making center; the Great Fire; a burgeoning skyline; the military presence; consolidation; overnight status as the largest city in the free world; and yes, even fleeting fame as a Super Bowl city! Following the film’s debut, scholars and arm chair historians will discuss what was left out.

Mary Nolan: Jacksonville Suffragette and her Night of Terror
Apr 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Mary Nolan

Mary Nolan, Springfield grandmother and oldest suffragette in the NWP.

Presented by author and speaker Judith Poucher, PhD.

Reception: 6:30pm | Program: 7pm

Jacksonville’s Mary A. Nolan was an unlikely champion on the national stage for women’s suffrage. But in 1917, this Springfield neighborhood grandmother, often described as the oldest suffragette in the National Women’s Party (NWP) picket lines, took up a post protesting in the nation’s capital. She was arrested on November 10, 1917, and ended up at the Occuquan Workhouse where she endured the infamous “Night of Terror.” Undeterred, in 1919, she participated in demonstrations in front of the White House and was arrested many times. Mrs. Nolan was part of a nationwide “Prison Special Tour” speaking on her experiences in prison.

Dr. Judith Poucher offers an exploration of Mary Nolan’s account of this remarkable piece of theAmerican story. Dr. Poucher received her PhD in humanities from Florida State University, completed post-doctoral work in history at Oxford and taught history at Florida State College. A fifth generation Floridian, Dr. Poucher is author of the recently published book, State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee’s Assault on Civil Liberties. She was involved in the production of The Committee, a Emmy award-winning documentary.

Norman Studios’ Silent Sundays: The Hands of Orlac
Oct 23 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Prepare to be scared…and intrigued!

In the spirit of Halloween, please join Norman Studios for their quarterly Silent Sundays screening at the Hotel Indigo – Jacksonville, 9840 Tapestry Park silentsundaysCircle on Jacksonville’s Southside. The movie will feature The Hands of Orlac on Sunday, October 23, 4pm.

In this 1924 silent horror, Conrad Veidt plays Paul Orlac, a world-famous pianist who loses both hands in a devastating railway accident and turns to gifted surgeon for help. But hopes of reviving his musical career instead give way to obsession when Orlac learns that his new hands once belonged to a man executed for murder. Soon after, the discovery Orlac’s own father, violently slain, begs the question: Is it the mind or the hands that will to do evil.

Nearly a century after its original release, The Hands of Orlac remains one of Austria’s most critically acclaimed. But not everyone agreed early on. Berlin’s censorship authority banned the film soon after its release, as Saxon police claimed that certain scenes could both inspire potential criminals and impede current police investigations. The film ultimately was cleared for general release.

Jacksonville University’s Tony Steve and the Silver Synchro Sounds will provide live musical accompaniment. Refreshments and snacks will be provided at the bar. Tickets are $5 and available at the door (cash or credit) and online.

Charles Weston: Jacksonville’s Forgotten Star of Stage and Screen
Aug 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Jacksonville Historical Society and Jeff Gardner present Charles Weston: Jacksonville’s Forgotten Star of Stage and Screen on Thursday, August 17 at noon  at Old St. Andrew’s.

Charles Weston’s 1915 passport photo.

Jacksonville’s late 19th and early 20th century urban neighborhoods are the initial backdrop for this on-going investigation of Charles H. Weston. Born in Brooklyn, later a resident of LaVilla and then Springfield, Weston seemed to have lived an average, middle-class life. But Jeff Gardner moved beyond typical research sources to fill in the blank spaces, expanding his search to reveal the full story. Jeff has pieced together the saga of a Jacksonville native who, as a very young man, rose to the top of

1985 photo of the Springfield apartment building where Charles Weston lived in 1917. This is where this research story begins…

several entertainment fields, including the circus, live theater, and early motion pictures. After an initial childhood stint as a circus performer, he became an actor on the Broadway stage and with national and international touring companies. Later, he trained with one of the best-known movie producers of the period, then became an internationally-known film director and producer. During his relatively short film career (1912 to 1917), he acted in, directed, or produced more than 65 feature length and short films in the United States and England.

Desserts and drinks available, feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.

About the author

Jeff Gardner spent most of his working life as a consulting archaeologist for a cultural resources management company. Since his retirement two years ago, he has been happily pursuing his favorite pastime, historical research. When not conducting genealogical research, he assists his Springfield neighbors in discovering the histories and previous residents of their historic homes. Jeff is a board member of the Springfield Improvement Association and Archives (SIAA) and a volunteer at the Jacksonville Historical Society.


This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generoulsy sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

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