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 41st 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: July 21, 2017
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.
Saturdays in July and August, 9a-12n Christmas HO model train layout project inside depot
Friday, July 14, 6p-8p Ice Cream Social with Joel Pace music students at depot
Thursday, July 27, 6:30p July pot luck and general meeting, open to public
August event TBA
Thursday, August 24, 6:30p August pot luck and general meeting, open to public Thursday, September 28, 6:30p September pot luck and general meeting, open to public
Friday, October 6, 6p-8p Ice Cream Social/Evening of Discovery at the depot Fri Oct 13 thru Sat Oct 21 Trains and Turpentine Display at the NE Florida Fair
Thursday, October 26, 6:30p October pot luck and general meeting, open to public
Saturday, Nov 4, 9a-4p Hobos and Hot Rods festival and car show at the depot
Friday, Dec 1, 6p Depot Christmas Tree lighting at the depot, train
Saturdays in December, TBA Christmas model train layout inside the 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
Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Town of Callahan
Rayonier Advanced Materials
Bob Eubanks - Rusty Acres
Congratulations to Shannon and Cody Sumner, winners
of the autumn iPad Air 2
drawing this past November.