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
West Nassau Historical Society - West Nassau Museum of History
Located Inside the Historic Train Depot at 45383 Dixie Avenue, Callahan
Mail to P.O. Box 1758, Callahan, FL 32011 (904-879-3406)
Looking northeast with Brandies Avenue to the left and Dixie Avenue to the right. Circa 1880-1890s.
This page was last updated: June 17, 2018
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, June 28, 6:30p June pot luck, general meeting, open to public
Friday, July 13, 6p-7:30p, Summer Ice Cream Social with Joel Pace music students
Thursday, July 26, 6:30p July pot luck, general meeting, open to public
Thursday, August 23, 6:30 pm August pot luck, general meeting, open to public
Thursday, September 27, 6:30 pm September pot luck, general meeting, open to public
Friday, October 5, 6 pm Ice Cream Social and Evening of Discovery Fri Oct 12 thru Sat Oct 20 Trains and Turpentine Display at NE Florida Fair, Callahan
Thursday, October 25, 6:30 pm October pot luck, general meeting, open to public
Sat Oct 27 thru Sat Dec 8 Smithsonian exhibit-Crossroads: Changes in Rural America
Thursday, Nov 15 at 6 pm Thanksgiving dinner meeting and drawing for HP laptop
Friday, November 30, 6 pm Depot Christmas Tree Lighting at the Callahan Depot
ALL POT LUCK 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 2016-2017.
L-R: Emily Baumgartner, Treasurer, Kim Hoffecker, Secretary; Marge Powell;
Jerry Peterson, Vice President; Jeanne Scott; Liz Mobley;
John Hendricks, President; Elton Steptoe; Jan Johannes, co-founder;
Frank Geoghagan (seated); not shown, Shirley Graham
2016-2017 Board of Directors
SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE SUPPORTERS
Golden Spike level
Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Town of Callahan
Rayonier Advanced Materials
Silver Spike level
Bob Eubanks - Rusty Acres
AA Bottle Gas and Fuel
Brandies Ace Hardware
West Fraser. Inc.
Arts and Culture Nassau
Hobos, Hot Rods,
and Heroes Festival
and Car Show
Sat., November 3, 2018
9 am- 4 pm
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit coming to Callahan
Change in Rural America
October 28 thru December 8
on display at the historic Callahan Train Depot.
Details to follow