We welcome you to our Internet site and hope to introduce you to what we have to offer at our historic Callahan depot headquarters and museum within the depot. We are in our 43rd year of caring about the future of our past. We are an all-volunteer organization looking for like-minded individuals and businesses who share our interests. Download a membership application below and join us in celebrating and preserving our rich and diverse history.
Though we are located at the historic Callahan Train Depot in the heart of western Nassau County, we like our colleagues from the Yulee Historic Council and Amelia Island Museum of History, are interested in ALL of our county's history. However, our primary focus is on the western half of the county: from the banks of the tea-colored St. Marys River to Thomas Creek, from the towns of Bryceville, Boulougne, Callahan, and Hilliard to the ghost towns of Italia, Dyal, Crawford, and Gross and the vast timberlands that lay in between.
The historical society's theme is aimed at the history of the railroad which opened up the interior of Nassau County and much of the rest of the wilderness of the south and west. David Yulee's Florida Railroad began at new Fernandina, was finished through central Nassau County by mid-1856 and completed to Cedar Key by 1861.
It is fortunate that one of the old railroad depots remains as the showpiece of an era gone by to help us collect, archive and display the historic gems of the past. Below are pictured the two Callahan depots that stood side by side from the early 1880s until the original passenger Florida Railroad depot on the left burned about 1917. The two railroads collaborated by doubling the size of the elevated freight depot on the right, adding a clerk's office and ticket sales windows and passenger waiting rooms for white and colored on the far end. It is this building that remains as the headquarters of the West Nassau Historical Society and West Nassau Museum of History.
A Florida Nonprofit 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Organization
Located Inside the Historic Train Depot at 45383 Dixie Avenue, Callahan
Mail to P.O. Box 1758, Callahan, FL 32011 (904-879-3406)
Proud members of Nassau County Chamber of Commerce
and Arts and Culture Nassau
Looking northeast with Brandies Avenue to the left and Dixie Avenue to the right. Circa 1880-1890s.
This page was last updated: May 11, 2022
The historic Callahan Train Depot
Members of the society and guests gathering before the April 24, 2014 membership meeting.
Click weather box to see extensive Callahan
area weather information.
Thursday, May 26, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Thursday, June 23, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Saturday, June TBA Hilliard history walking tour
Sat July 9 and Wed July 13 Kids Summer art classes at the depot.
Friday, July 15, 6:30 pm - 8 pm Red, White and You Ice Cream Social/art exhibit
Thursday, July 28, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Thursday, August 25, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Thursday, September 22, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Friday, Oct TBA, 6:30 pm - 8 pm Ice Cream Social
Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm Monthly dinner and meeting at the Depot.
Saturday, Nov 5, 9a-4p 6th Hobos, Hot Rods, and Heroes festival, car show, and student art
DINNER AND GENERAL MEETINGS ARE HELD INSIDE THE CALLAHAN TRAIN DEPOT ANNEX
Copyright 2014 by the WNHS.
The depot sat in this, its second location, for generations. This is the southeast corner of the intersection of CSX's north-south double track and the old Florida Railroad line that went in front of Brandies Hardware. In the 1980s, it was acquired by the historical society and underwent a $100K renovation. This end of the depot was built in 1881 of Victorian architecture. The lower opposite end was built circa 1910 and became the passenger waiting rooms and agent's office.
Board of Directors of the West Nassau Historical Society 2021-2022.
L-R: Emily Baumgartner, Kim Hoffecker, Marge Powell; Jerry Peterson,
Liz Mobley; John Hendricks, Elton Steptoe, Frank Geoghagan,
2021-2022 Board of Directors
SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE SUPPORTERS
Golden Spike level
Okefenoke Rural Electric Co-op Foundation
First Baptist Church of Callahan
Town of Callahan
Silver Spike level
Bob Eubanks - Rusty Acres
AA Bottle Gas and Fuel
Brandies Ace Hardware
West Fraser. Inc.
Arts and Culture Nassau
Bronze Spike Level
Davis Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram
Vystar Credit Union
Kids' Summer Art Classes
Sat, July 9 (10a-12n, 1p-3p) Wed July 13 (10a-12:30 p)
The West Nassau Historical Society is pleased to announce the offering of a series of children's art classes to be held this summer. Each class is age-specific and will be held at the historic Callahan Train Depot at 45383 Dixie Avenue. Art supplies will be provided by the Historical Society. A signed parental/guardian permission form and nominal fee are required for each child attending the classes. The classes being offered are:
Saturday, July 9, 10a - 12p, Ages 9 - 12: $12 fee
Saturday, July 9, 1p - 3p, Ages 13 - 17: $15 fee
Wednesday, July 13, 10 a - 12:30 p, Ages 5 - 8: Free form painting - $12 fee
Classes on July 9th will be taught by retired Nassau County educator Erica Dodge. With 21+ years experience in art education, Ms. Dodge specializes in fiber art and enjoys incorporating unusual materials into her art She wants the viewer to spend time searching her art and enjoying the surprises hey find inside. Since retirement, Ms. Dodge has been working in her studio specializing in fiber arts/glass fusing.
Wednesday, July 13th, class will be taught by Historical Society director Elizabeth Karoly, a retired instructor of art from the New York state school system. Ms. Karoly earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University in NY. She also served on the faculty of Long Island University, Stony Brook University, and Nassau Community College, Long Island. Her art has been exhibited extensively in the New York area.
Class sizes are limited to 12 students so preregistration is required. A registration form is available from the West Nassau Historical Society website www.wnhsfl.org or by calling 904.879.3406. The children’s artwork will be exhibited at the West Nassau Historical Society Ice Cream Social/exhibition on Friday, July 15th, at 6:30 pm. These classes are funded in part by Arts and Culture Nassau, an advocacy for art and culture throughout Nassau County. The West Nassau Historical Society is a 501c3, all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of history and culture in Nassau County, Florida.
The West Nassau Historical Society is an active member of Arts and Culture Nassau, an advocacy of the arts throughout Nassau County. For more info, visit..
Red, White and You Summer of Discovery
Ice Cream Social
Fri, July 15, 2022
6:30 PM - 8 PM
AT THE HISTORIC
Musical Performances by Joel Pace Piano Music Students
4th Thursdays of each month
at the historic Callahan Train Depot
6:30 pm pot luck
7:00 pm meeting
Admission is free and open
to public but donations
are gladly accepted
The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer 501c3.
To donate to our group, call us today. 904 879-3406,