By Mark McConville
EERIE IMAGES have revealed the rotting remains of the abandoned holiday home of a banking mogul.
The stunning pictures show the large house set among the palm trees, a piano left behind in the property and paintings strewn across the rooms.
Other haunting shots show the peeling paint and rotting wood in the bathroom, old furniture cluttering up the rooms and boxes of possessions that looks like they’ve been rifled through.
The remarkable photographs were taken in James R Mellon’s house in Palatka, Florida by a photographer known as Bullet.
“Exploring was like photographing any other home, until I found a plaque on the outside with the words “JRMELLON” on it,” he said.
“After a bit of research, I was amazed how influential this man was to the city of Palatka, and how seemingly forgotten his winter home is.
“This Victorian home was James Mellon’s home whenever he visited Palatka with his family during the winters. Sadly, it’s falling apart. The floor is weak and decayed in some parts, there are leaks in the roof, and the wall is separating from the staircase.
“There are parts of the house which feel extremely weak, even having to jump over holes to get into some rooms. The staircase is a little bit sketchy, having to avoid a few holes.
“The city of Palatka is looking to save itself from becoming yet another dead-end small town and I’m hoping that someone can save this home before it’s too late, especially due to its connections to the Mellon family.”
James Ross Mellon was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 14, 1846, son of Judge of Thomas Mellon who is better known for being the founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch of the wealthy and influential Mellon family.
James and his eldest brother Thomas agreed to pool their business interests together, becoming dealers in coal, lumber, and other building materials which were in high demand at the time in Pittsburgh. In 1873, they would open a savings bank, the City Deposit Bank & Trust Company, where James was president until his death.
Judge Thomas Mellon founded T. Mellon & Sons’ Bank in 1869 with his other sons, Andrew and Richard; James would later join them in its establishment. In 1899, the Mellons established yet another bank, the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh, followed by the Union Saving Bank. In 1913, James and his brothers founded the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in memory of their father who passed away in February 1908.
Along with being a successful bank and industrialist, he was a philanthropist like the rest of the Mellon family and deeply invested in his community. He was president of the board of trustees of East Liberty Presbyterian Church. He served as president of Western Pennsylvania Hospital and the Allegheny County Juvenile Court Farm. He also served as a trustee for the Athalia Daly Home for Working Girls.
“James, his wife and children began travelling to Palatka in 1883 to escape the harsh winters in Pittsburgh, even constructing a home in the city,” added Bullet.
“His wife passed away after arriving home to Pittsburgh on May 7, 1919. James would continue visiting Palatka every winter, contributing his time and money in bettering the city.
“He donated land to the city to have a school built which would be known as Mellon High School; it would later be demolished in the 1960s to make way for a parking lot for the courthouse.
“He also built the Larimer Memorial Library on Reid Street in honour of his wife; a plaque inside the building reads “Erected to the memory of Rachel Hughey Larimer, wife of James Ross Mellon, 1930.” James Mellon died on October 20, 1934.”
For more information see www.abandonedfl.com