For some people, the motivation to learn their history is mostly due to curiosity. Perhaps you found a photo album full of old family pictures and have no idea who any of the people in them are. Or, maybe you’ve heard stories of an old neighborhood house and wanted to know more.
Whatever peaks your curiosity, it’s important to know where you came from and equally important to know where you live. This thought came to mind as I was driving around downtown Jacksonville looking for inspiration for a photo shoot. Then it hit me; I know nothing about the place I call home…for now. So I thought it would be cool to learn more about what makes Jacksonville, Jacksonville. And what’s a day of exploring without good food, right?
The Pelletier House survives as Jacksonville’s oldest and only remaining antebellum home. It’s noted that this hipped roof Greek Revival dwelling initially occupied part of the turpentine distillery lot owned by Rufus and his brother, William Pelletier, Jacksonville’s Civil War postmaster. Rufus Pelletier served as Jacksonville’s postmaster in 1856 and from 1873 to 1879, possibly using this dwelling as the town post office. He became a magistrate in the 1880s and according to local tradition, conducted weddings in the front room. Pelletier married Joanna Hines in 1863. Their daughter Eliza, born in 1872, was the house’s last resident.
According to the Onslow County Museum, the house probably consisted of two rooms, divided by walls on both sides of the fireplace, the front serving as a business area, the rear as the living area. Pelletier later added a frame, two-room kitchen and dining room wing, separated from the rear of the house by a breezeway. This was followed by an attached wing of several rooms to the right, or east side, possibly around the turn of the century. These additions were severely damaged by fires during the 1950s and subsequently demolished.
After the death of “Miss Eliza” in 1954, the house was acquired by the Onslow County Historical Society. It was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
What’s for lunch?
I planned to try the pumpkin spice pancakes at the Kettle Diner that were highly recommended by my friends at Sarah & Jessie. I’m not a pumpkin-anything girl. I just don’t get the whole pumpkin spice “basic” thing. Anywho, the pancakes are seasonal and won’t be available until October. So I decided to try the fish tacos because it was one of the few options that fit my pescetarian (I only eat fish and shrimp) diet.
Yum, Yum, Yummy! Beer battered Alaskan cod is the star of these fresh and tasty fish tacos, served in flour tortillas with avocado, shredded red cabbage, onions, and tomato. Topped with a homemade white sauce made of mayo, yogurt, salsa, and cilantro. You can’t beat three tasty tacos for $7.99 with a side of fries.
The Kettle Diner has been in Jacksonville for many years. It’s the perfect spot for a little comfort food. It’s a nice budget-friendly family style restaurant where you can enjoy oldies but goodies music while you eat. It’s also best known as the go-to breakfast spot after a night at the club.
Oh and can I get a moment of silence for the collard greens. So BOMB!!!