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The Matheson Museum


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The Matheson History Museum building is located in the former American Legion Hall, built in 1937, and houses temporary and permanent exhibits that tell the story of Alachua County from the time of the Timucuan tribes through the Spanish occupation of the area, William Bartram’s travels, on through the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1867 Matheson House, the second oldest residence in Gainesville, is a blend of Classic Revival raised cottage architecture and the South Carolina plantation style. The Tison Tool Barn houses the tool collection of Gainesville native James Mason Tison, Jr. Directly behind the Museum is Sweetwater Park. In 2014 the Matheson purchased the former Melting Pot building with plans to renovate it and turn it into the museum's archive and library and a community meeting space.

  • Amenities:
  • Gift Shop, Parking, Restrooms
  • Average Visit Time:
  • 1 - 2 hours,
  • Designation:
  • Civil War Heritage Trail, Native American Heritage Trail, Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail


Liquid Gold: The Rise and Fall of Florida Citrus

Now - August 26, 2016
Citrus has been an integral part of Florida’s history since Christopher Columbus brought it to the New World in 1493. Spanish explorers (most likely Ponce de Leon) planted the first orange trees near St. Augustine in the early 1500s but citrus wasn’t grown commercially until the 1800s. The Matheson’s original exhibition will explore the history of citrus in Alachua County and throughout Florida. Images, documents, and artifacts will highlight such topics as the origins of citrus, the Great Freezes of 1835 and 1894-1895, citrus industry practices such as debt peonage, and the state of the industry today, including its uncertain future due to ...Read More>> itrus greening. Read Less

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