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: January 31, 2021
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, January 28, 6:30 pm January meal and meeting, open to public
Saturday, January 30, 10a - 2:00 pm 9th edition of Nassau Art at the Callahan Depot art show
Thursday, Febuary 25, 6:30 pm February meal and meeting, open to public
Friday, March Wearing of the Green Ice Cream Social
Thursday, March 25, 6:30 pm March meal and meeting, open to public
Saturday, Apri 17, 9a-4p 16th annual Railroad Day
Thursday, April 22, 6:30 pm April meal and meeting, elections, open to public
Saturday in June, TBA Hilliard video walking tour
Friday in July TBA Red, White and You Ice Cream Social
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 2018-2019.
L-R: Emily Baumgartner, President, Kim Hoffecker, interim Secretary;
Marge Powell; Jerry Peterson, Liz Mobley;
John Hendricks, Treasurer; Elton Steptoe, Vice President; Jan Johannes, co-founder; Frank Geoghagan, archives chair (seated); not shown, Paul McMullan
2018-2019 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
Railroad Day Festival and Classic Car Show
Saturday, April 17, 2021
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..
Wearing of the Green
Ice Cream Social and Evening of Discovery
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
West Nassau Historical Society Announces
Winners of Their 9th Annual NACD Art Show
(Visit our 2021 NACD art show page for present and past winners)
The West Nassau Historical Society would like to thank everyone who attended our 9th edition of Nassau Art at the Callahan Depot art show and sale held on January 30th. Over 100 visitors attended the annual juried event held with COVID guidelines in place inside the historic 1881 train station. 14 Nassau County artists displayed their various paintings, photographs and 3-D art while some local artists also made scores of their works available for sale in our outdoor Art Shop. While the exhibition was being judged, historical society members and friends with support from Callahan Subway hosted a delicious luncheon for the artists. The winners of the competition are as follows: 3-D art: 1st place, Linda Vacca; 2nd place, Linda Vacca; 3rd place, Christine Elsesser - Photography/CGI: 1st place, Shari Bickford; 2nd place, Shari Bickford; 3rd place, Evelyn McDonald - Painting/Drawing: 1st place, Barb Wylie; 2nd place, Ginger Bender; 3rd place, Carol Kish; People's Choice Award, Ginger Bender. The 3 winning paintings and top photography winner from the adult division will be on display at the Nassau County Courthouse in Yulee from February 1-5, Amelia Island Welcome Center in Fernandina Beach the week of Feb 6-12, Vystar Callahan branch the week of Feb 13-19 and Southeastern Bank Hilliard branch the week of Feb 20-26. We would like to thank renowned Florida landscape artist Allison Watson for judging our art competition and for all the artists who participated. The West Nassau Historical Society would also like to thank the following: Arts and Culture Nassau, a county wide arts advocacy group that supports cultural events such as NACD; CSX Transportation; Callahan Subway and the NACD art show committee (Marge Powel, Emily Baumgartner, John Hendricks, Elizabeth Karoly, Liz Mobley and Jerry Peterson). Special thanks to a Home Depot in-kind donation and a Community Foundation Respond Adapt Recover grant for help with sanitizing and disinfectant supplies and other items to keep our artists, guest and members safe during these trying times. For pictures of all the art show entries like our Facebook page or visit www.wnhsfl.org for more info our all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit and upcoming events.
Red, White and You
Ice Cream Social and Evening of Discovery
6:30 PM - 8 PM
AT THE HISTORIC
Musical Performances by Joel Pace Piano Music Students.