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: May 22, 2016
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, April 28, 6:30 pm April pot luck and general meetings, both open to public
Saturday, May 7, 9a-1p Community Yard Sale at the Callahan Train Depot
Thursday, May 26, 6:30 pm May pot luck and general meeting, both open to public
Saturday, June 11, 9a-1p Flag Day community yad sale at the depot
Thursday, June 23, 6:30 pm June pot luck and general meeting, both open to public
Thursday, July 28, 6:30 pm July pot luck and general meeting, both open to public
Saturday, August 6, 9a-1p Back to School community yard sale at the depot
Saturday, August 6, 9a Autumn fund raiser kick off - tablet drawing - Nov 17
Thursday, August 25, 6:30p August pot luck and general meeting, open to public
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 2015-2016.
L-R: Emily Baumgartner, President; Kim Hoffecker; Marge Powell;
Jerry Peterson; Jeanne Scott; Liz Mobley, Secretary;
John Hendricks, Treasurer; Elton Steptoe, Vice President;
Jan Johannes, co-founder; Frank Geoghagan (seated)
General Meetings of the Historical Society. Open to the public.
Fourth Thursdays of each month at 6:30 pm
Next Community Yard Sale
at the historic Callahan Train Depot
Saturday, June 11, 9A - 1P
SATURDAYS AT THE DEPOT COMMUNITY YARD SALE
Fourth Thursdays of each month at the CALLAHAN TRAIN DEPOT 6:30 PM
2015-2016 Board of Directors
2016 RAILROAD DAY FESTIVAL
AT THE HISTORIC CALLAHAN TRAIN DEPOT
SATURDAY, APRIL 16, 2016,
WAS A HUGE SUCCESS
The West Nassau Historical Society would like to thank everyone who made our 11th Railroad Day Festival a huge success. Prayers were answered as the bad weather cleared out and sunshine prevailed. We had the largest number of parade entries to date, largest parade attendance in 5 years, and best 1-day attendance since 2010. We invite the public to join us on the fourth Thursdays of each month inside the historic Callahan Train Depot annex and help us discover, relive, and promote our county's rich and diverse history. We are an all-volunteer nonprofit heavily dependent on grants and donations in order to make ends meet. We are looking for new members of all ages who share our interest in preserving our history and want to help us achieve our goals. Single, family, and business memberships are available. For additional information on the 2016 Railroad Day Festival or on becoming a volunteer, sponsor, or donor please visit www.wnhsfl.org or call festival co-chairs John Hendricks or Emily Baumgartner at 904-879-3406.
Mark your calendars for the our....
12th annual Railroad Day Festival and Parade
Saturday, April 22, 2017.