Funeral Home

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.

Funeral Home
The power remains on although the funeral home has been abandoned for years.

Funeral Home

In 1856, Calvin Oak and his son, Byron, opened a marble and mortuary business. After his father passed away, Byron continued growing the business as the Moulton & Kyle Funeral Home.

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 a high demand for parking, an attached garage was built several years later that featured a turntable, which allowed cars to drive in and turn around facing the street.

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Water damage from the partially collapsed roof has caused mold to grow and the paint to peel.
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The remnants of the antique furniture in the lobby.

Funeral Home

Over the years, the funeral home became known as the Kyle McLellan Funeral Home after S.M. McLellan purchased the business. In the early 1990s, the funeral home was sold to the Peeples Family Funeral Home. After almost a century of operating at the West Union Street building, the business was moved in 2013 to a new location with updated facilities. The building at West Union Street was abandoned and left to decay. Today, the abandoned funeral home has a partially collapsed roof and stands at the mercy of the harsh Florida weather.

Funeral Home
The downstairs area of the funeral home.
Funeral Home
The Cadillac hearse is entombed in the garage of the funeral home.

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

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Hazardous chemicals left behind in the embalming room.

Funeral Home

Funeral Home
The upstairs included a display room for caskets, several family rooms, and a storage area for the extra caskets.

Funeral Home

Funeral Home
A wooden casket dolly sits in front of the elevator used to lower the caskets down to the first floor.

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Funeral Home
This embalming license was issued to S.A. Kyle

Funeral Home

Funeral Home
A Daily Sales log from 1895 lists each burial and the amount paid.

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

Funeral Home
Cremated remains of 3 women dated from the 1950s are forgotten on a shelf.

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

Funeral Home

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21 thoughts on “Funeral Home

  1. Wow..your photography is wonderful and the story these photos tell are worth the time it took to take them. Amazing the things we leave behind and those boxes with the cremated remains of those three women! I wonder why they were left behind… Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    1. I thought of that too. Somebody could easily find family members. Sad. Also wondering why they would leave behind such valuable items and not move them to the new building. Wondering if they had any looting of furniture, etc.

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  2. I’ve photographed a lot of abandoned places but nothing as creepy and poignant as this funeral home. You handled it with skill showing what needs to be shown and the history you provided allows us to really get to know this place along with your photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to know if anything from this funeral home can be legally removed and kept, since it all appears to be abandoned. As a death educator with a licensed embalmer in the family, we would be highly interested in claiming any of these items for historical and educational purposes. Do you have any idea whom to contact about this? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These photographs remind me of a foreclosed funeral home I toured while working for a bank. It was an old black funeral home. Not sure what year they opened but the quality of equipment and furniture was certainly not elegant. Some of the setup and techniques used in the embalming room were sad. In my instance I can understand everything being left “as is”. But I can’t imagine why a business would just walk away and leave everything (including business records and unclaimed bodies) just to move across town. Why do you think no one ever went back to clean stuff out?

    Liked by 1 person

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