Uncle Charlie’s Ghost Still Working For Florida’s Oldest Saloon

Uncle Charlie's Ghost Still Working For Florida's Oldest Saloon

It is appropriate that the Fernandina Beach’s Palace Saloon, the oldest continuous bar in Florida, should be haunted. It seems most of Florida’s oldest buildings have their ghost stories and guiding tourists on nightly spook walks has become a profitable Florida enterprise in every Florida town with any old properties..

But Uncle Charlie’s Ghost just seems to want to keep on serving those who operate his old hangout. Charlie Beresford served as a bartender at the Palace from 1906 to 1960, and in those 54 years there were few drinkers on Amelia Island who didn’t know Charlie.
Charlie’s demise evidently did not mean his retirement. Uncle Charlie loved to bet patrons they couldn’t toss a coin on the narrow rim of some busts placed behind the bar. Few were successful so Charlie picked up a lot of change to add to his tips. After his death when a new bartender tried to continue the game, a cold chill pressed the man’s shoulders and he called off the game.

People started seeing strange human shapes at night at closing. Charlie was said to check the day’s receipts. In 1999 the Palace Saloon was gutted by a fire but Charlie’s room in back was barely burnt.

The Palace was returned soon to its old glory, but Charlie’s fame led to new benefits for the building. At the north end of the building Uncle Charlie’s Heavenly Pizza opened to “glowing” reviews. A sport’s bar is another feature to use Charlie’s name.

Is the Palace upset by Uncle Charlie’s “rising fame” and popularity? If you go online to the new website of the Palace Saloon, you’ll see Uncle Charlie is a featured person on a tour of the property.

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About floridatraveler

Historian and travel writer M. C. Bob Leonard makes the Sunshine State his home base. Besides serving as content editor for several textbook publishers and as college professor, he moderates the FHIC at www.floridahistory.org
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