After being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1851, Calvin Oak was told he would be dead within six months. Oak decided to move his family from Vermont to Jacksonville, Florida in hopes that a warmer, sunny environment would cure his ailment. Surrounded by fresh air, Calvin Oak lived another 30 years and became one of Jacksonville’s most prominent businessmen. He built the first factory in the city, a gun plant that manufactured guns, barrels, and cartridges. Oak also purchased and operated a jewelry store on Bay Street. In 1856, Calvin Oak and his son, Byron, opened a marble and mortuary business. After his father passed away, Byron continued growing the company as the Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home.
In 1914, Mark & Shetfall, a local architecture firm, was hired to design a two-story Prairie School style building at 17 West Union Street in downtown Jacksonville. Due to high demand for parking, an attached garage was built several years later. The garage featured a turntable which allowed cars to drive in and turn around facing the street. The funeral home became known as the Kyle-McLellan Funeral Home after S.M. McLellan purchased the business. In the early 1990s, the Peeples Family Funeral Home purchased the property. After almost a century of operating at the West Union Street building, the business was moved in 2013. The building at West Union Street was left to decay. Today, the building has a partially collapsed roof and stands at the mercy of the harsh Florida weather. Check out my book, Abandoned North Florida, for more photos from this amazing abandoned funeral home.