Railroad Days Festival 2014
March 28th and 29th
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)
This page was last updated: March 31, 2014
A major addition to the grounds and museum is the scaled down version of the Musslewhite Turpentine Commissary, the last vintage of the turpentine industry that at one time was county and nationwide. Cecil Musslewhite, Sr. and his two sons, Cecil Jr. and Eugene, harvested from several thousands of acres, operated a distillery and shipped their turpentine to ports around the world. The commissary that is situated four miles up what is now Musslewhite Road, north of Callahan, is the remnant of Cecil's empire. The distillery itself is long gone, its memory remaining somewhere in the forest north of the old Musslewhite homestead.
This past year the Musslewhite family donated the old commissary and much of its contents to the West Nassau Historical Society to perpetuate Cecil's legacy and that of the turpentine industry. The old commissary, however, was not structurally sound to have moved it to the historical society grounds. The decision was made to reproduce the old building in a smaller scale to display Musslewhite contributions and other related artifacts.
The exterior nears completion.....
Grant and Harold have hammer their way to completing the exterior before Friday's first day of the festival. The interior will be completed sometime in the next few months. The artifacts, temporarily are displayed in the depot annex building with members of the Musslewhite family there to answer questions and talk about the two Cecils and Eugene.
Nan. This one is for you. Pictured is head craftsman Grant Barrows snoozing on the porch rail of the the commissary just as you did many years ago.
The 9th Annual Fest is in the books... and was it wet.
The 24th through the 27th were beautiful Florida chamber days but the forecast for the 28th and 29th were for thunderstorms and lots of rain. It happened. Friday the 28th wasn't too bad as we made it through the morning and afternoon with a good crowd. We thought success, success. Then came the rain. Saturday morning arrived with cloudy skies then came the rain. The parade began at 11 am in light rain, then came the heavy rain. Those in the parade were real troopers. By 1 pm it was necessary to call the rest of the days events off. The museum and model railroad displays in the annex went on but the outside events were packed up and most went home. Thanks to all that participated and with a little of cooperation from Mother Nature we will see you again next year.
A few shots from the 28th and 29th. Many more will be placed on the RR Days photo tab page in a few days.