Suwannee County Museum

A local history museum located in the railroad freight station in the county seat of Live Oak

Run by the Suwannee County Historical Commission, this history museum has a nice collection of interesting artifacts. It’s similar to most of the history museums in Florida counties and towns, in that it contains a broad spectrum of items that represent the daily lives of the county’s inhabitants along with other, possibly incongruous objects. It’s larger than many of the other local museums, however, and is well worth a visit.

The museum is in the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) Freight Station next to the passenger depot . Originally, the passenger depot would have been on the opposite side (the south side), as evidenced by the large amount of distance between the remaining rail line and the freight station.

The Union Passenger Depot was built in 1909. It served four rail lines – the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL), the Florida Railway Company and the Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Railroad Company (LOP&G). The last passenger service occurred in 1971. Afterwards, the depot sat vacant. In 1984, the non-profit organization Pride in Action bought the depot and moved it north of the freight depot. The Suwannee County Historical Commission took possession of the depot but later transferred the building to the Suwannee County Board of Commissioners in 2006. Its renovation was completed in 2011.

The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Three of the more interesting exhibits are the telephone exchange office, the large moonshine still and the collection of artifacts from the African continent.

The museum has the original Suwannee County Courthouse clock face. The Courthouse was built in 1904. The square hole was used to change the time. The moonshine still was from around 1960 and was confiscated in Columbia County by the Florida State Beverage Department (now the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco).

The photos below are from a 2019 visit to the museum.