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A walk with the ghosts

Nine ghosts rose from the dead at Chestnut Cemetery Saturday night.

Portrayed by local actors and elected officials, the twice yearly Ghost Walk, sponsored by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society, drew about 250 visitors, and raised more than $1,650 to help in the restoration of the historic cemetery. Included in that total were about $250 in sales of books on the history of Apalachicola.

Taking part in the event, organized by its founder Delores Roux together with society president Caty Greene and scores of volunteers, were the following personages:

  • Adolph Flatauer (James Hargrove)
  • Charles Glazier (Steve Lanier)
  • Catherine Spano
    (Mishelle McPherson)
  • William Percy
    Coombs (Paul Macabee)
  • Genevieve
    Marshall (Anita Grove)
  • Samuel Floyd
    (David Adlerstein)
  • Anson Hancock
    (A.J. Smith)
  • Frank and Louisa
    Messina (John and Melonie Inzetta)

Some history on a few of the ghosts, as prepared by historian Mark Curenton:

Catherine Spano was born on May 1, 1853, in Apalachicola, the daughter of  immigrants from Ireland.  Her father died in
the 1850s and her mother remarried , to Cornelius Duffy,
who was serving on the CSS Chattahoochee when the boiler exploded at Blountstown on
May 27, 1863., and he died five days later. In 1886, Catherine married Salvatore Spano, a fish and oyster
dealer., and they lived in a house where the courthouse annex is  located. A nephew, who was a blacksmith, built the fence surrounding her grave, and worked
her name and dates of birth and death into the gate in the fence.

Anson Hancock, born in North Carolina in 1800, established a hotel at the corner of Avenue D and 4th Street, the most fashionable street in town. As his hotel flourished, Hancock invested in land and it was during his term as mayor in 1862 that the city was
surrendered to the Union Navy.  He stayed in Apalachicola throughout the Civil War to protect his
property., and died in 1865.  After the war the management of the Hancock Hotel was turned
over to William Fuller.

Frank Messina came in 1851 from Italy to Apalachicola and was a lighterman,
moving cargos between the deep-draft, ocean-going vessels that had to anchor in
the lower portion of the bay and the town. After the war he returned to Apalachicola, opening a retail
store and was married  to Louisa DeSilva. One of their sons, Joseph
Messina, operated the Bay City Packing Company.

 Samuel Floyd, born in 1825. in Winthrop, Massachusetts, married Anna Jane
McKissack and enlisted in
the Confederate Navy in April 1862, where he served at the Columbus (Ga.) Naval Yard. He died two years after the war ended.

Charles Glazier worked at the sawmill, and was a city commissioner.  He was killed Nov. 27, 1886, in an explosion at the Apalachicola Ice Company’s factory on Water Street. His widow sold their land to the city, and it became the original Magnolia Cemetery on 12th Street.

Genevieve Marshall married Rudolph Marshall but they later divorced in 1932. She worked
at different jobs to support herself, including as the
forewoman at the sewing project and in the tent factory.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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