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
Collection of WNHS
Looking northeast with Brandies Avenue to the left and Dixie Avenue to the right. Circa 1880-1890s.
Abner McGehee
This page was last updated: March 19, 2021
2018-2019 Officers

The historic Callahan Train Depot
Emily Baumgartner
Elton Steptoe
John Hendricks
Kim Hoffecker
Members of the society and guests gathering before the April 24, 2014 membership meeting. 
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 area weather information.
                                                                Upcoming Events
​​​          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 

Copyright 2014 by the WNHS.
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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.
Before Restoration
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
Collection of WNHS

Golden Spike level
CSX Transportation
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

Monthly meetings
6:30 PM
4th Thursdays
16th annual
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
Musical Performances by Joel Pace Piano Music Students
General meetings
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
Red, White and You
Ice Cream Social and Evening of Discovery
6:30 PM - 8 PM
Musical Performances by Joel Pace Piano Music Students.
West Nassau Historical Society Announces 
Three Spring Art Classes for Children
West Nassau Historical Society press release (March 19, 2021)

The West Nassau Historical Society is pleased to announce the offering of a series of children's art classes to be held this spring. 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, April 10, 1 pm - 4 pm Ages 13 - 17: Learning of Surrealism/Collage - $15 fee
Saturday, April 24, 10 AM - Noon Ages 8 - 12: Zentangle art for flowers/bldgs. - $12 fee
Saturday, May 1, 10 AM - Noon Ages 5 - 7: Textured tin foil painting/ fish - $10 fee

A $2 handling fee will be added to credit card and PayPal payments.

Classes 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 busy working in her studio specializing in fiber arts and glass fusing.  

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. COVID guidelines such as social distancing, hand sanitizers and other safety measures will be in place at all times while the students are on the Callahan Train Depot campus. The children’s artwork will be exhibited at the Historical Society exhibition on a date to be announced later. The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of history and culture in Nassau County.
Click here to download kid's entry form