Thomas Jefferson’s favorite grandson and Pine Castle pioneer Francis Wayles Eppes doesn’t strike me as a Halloweeny kind of guy, but it turns out that he’s linked, through his own grandson, to a spooky tale.
Eppes moved from north Florida to the Pine Castle area in 1867. He’s buried in Orlando’s Greenwood Cemetery, where a state historic marker honors him and his family. (You can learn more about him in a booklet from the Pine Castle Historical Society and a YouTube video featuring Greenwood’s Don Price. For the brochure, email [email protected].)
Eppes has been hailed as a founder of Florida State University, among other achievements. But his legacy is not long on ghost stories.
Not so with Francis Eppes’ grandson Thomas Jefferson Eppes — the great-great-grandson of the third president. In the new book, “Women in White: The Haunting of Northeast Florida,” Elizabeth Randall describes the legend surrounding the 1885 Eppes House in Fernandina Beach — “the former home of murderer who was also a descendant of Thomas Jefferson,” a caption notes.
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