Florida home believed to be site of Jim Morrison's conception up for sale

2:40 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
This home is where Jim Morrison was said to have been conceived while his parents were stationed in Pensacola. Photo courtesy Pensacola News Journal
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Pensacola, Florida (PNJ) -- History, like beauty, might be in the eye of the beholder, and the story behind a Gregory Street home now up for sale has attracted both local and national attention.

It's not quite the Morrison Hotel, but for fans of The Doors, a seminal 1960s rock band that made the pop charts with the singles "Light My Fire" and "Love Her Madly," a downtown Pensacola home that's up for auction may be the closest they'll get to where the band's poetic lyrics all started, quite literally.

A Victorian-era Pensacola home thought to be where The Doors rock legend Jim Morrison, the group's lead singer, writer and rock 'n' roll iconoclast, was conceived in 1943 is up for auction.

And its contents of antiques, spanning more than 100 years, are being sold off in an estate sale held over the weekend.

There's no word yet on if a buyer was found.

The house on Gregory Street, adjacent to Waters and Hibbert Funeral Home, is owned by Jim Morrison's second cousin, Bruce Morrison III, 69, and his wife, Rella.

Knowing how fans flock to his cousin's grave site in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, making it one of the city's most-visited tourist attractions, Bruce Morrison advertised the auction to Doors fans in "The Strange Days," online newsletter at doors.com to give them not only a chance to stand in the house where the rocker's "Strange Days" all began, but to even buy it.

Since then, the news about the house has been circulating on Facebook and other social media.

Jim's parents, Rear Adm. George Stephen and Clara Virginia Morrison, lived in a basement apartment in the house when George was in Naval flight school in Pensacola in 1943, Bruce Morrison said. And according to family stories, that's where Jim Morrison's life began.

"I was born in March 1943 and Jim was born in December 1943," Bruce Morrison said. "I have a video that show's Jim's mother walking around the backyard holding me and pregnant with Jim."

Bruce Morrison is considering throwing in the video with the sale of the house.

Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne in December 1943 and died in Paris at age 27 in July 1971 of an alleged heroin overdose.

Bruce Morrison, who said he only saw his famous cousin a few times over his lifetime, mostly at family reunions, has set an undisclosed interest in the house and is taking bids at the estate sale.

"I'm asking for solid auction bids today and tomorrow," he said on Friday. "Bids can be sealed in an envelope and left in a basket at the house. If someone has met my reserve, they have bought the house."

So far, there have been few takers, and few Doors fans showing up on his front porch.

"His sister always has fans show up on her front door step doing all kinds of things," he said. "She has to move frequently to keep the nuts from catching up with her. I'm not in the nut stage yet."

Kerri Humphries of the Utah-based online Strange Days newsletter, said he has had some feedback from fans, including one couple who planned to drive by and see the house.

"Bruce is a character, and he told me all about the house and the family, and he sent me a photo," Humphries said. "He's legit."

The home was built in 1905 and has been in his family since 1932. Bruce Morrison says he's getting too old keep it up.

Even without the legendary rock connection, Bruce Morrison says the home has a great history.

"In the 1920s, it was a tea house with a speakeasy in the basement," he said.

Ellis & Moore Pensacola Estate Sale liquidators hosted the sale in which antiques pickers could hunt through the contents of that basement, which is stacked ceiling high, for treasures and trinkets, including sinks from the old San Carlos Hotel, Donna Moore said.

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