Towns J-Z

Melrose

Bayview/Lambdin House

A local railroad agent named McKendrie Lambdin built this home in 1887. It is called “Bayview” for its location facing Melrose Bay. It was actually one of the first houses built after Melrose was organized as a town. Due to its location near the docks where visitors disembarked from steamships, Lambdin often used his home as a boardinghouse. Today, the home continues serving Melrose’s visitors as a bed and breakfast.

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Trinity Episcopal Church

The Trinity Episcopal Church building of Melrose was finished in 1886. The building is still used by the local church today. Visitors can see the original pews and stained-glass windows.

Melrose Episcopal undated

Trinity Episcopal Church, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

Melrose Woman’s Club

The Melrose Woman’s Club was first known as the Ladies’ Literary and Debating Society. It is the second-oldest woman’s club in the state of Florida. The first meeting was on July 23, 1890 at the house of Mrs. Vogelback, one of the original members of the group. The club elected their first president, Mrs. E. M. Kind, during their second meeting. The clubhouse was finished in 1893, and the club had a small ceremony on January 19, 1894. The group discussed topics such as civil rights and women’s rights, and they were progressive in their support for women’s suffrage. Around 1946, the group began to meet under the new name “Melrose Woman’s Club.” Some later activities of the club included Bible study, educational programs, and even Cold War preparation. Today, the building continues to serve as the meeting hall of the club in which the women work hard to serve their community.

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Micanopy

Benjamin Building

Built in 1885, the Benjamin Building was the town’s first brick building. This structure originally had two floors, but a fire around 1900 caused severe damage. The new building was rebuilt with only one floor. The structure’s three retail spaces have allowed for many merchants to make their living throughout the years. This building even held the town’s post office at one point.

Simon H. Benjamin Building

Benjamin Building, courtesy of the State Library & Archives of Florida

Feaster Building

Otis Feaster built this large, downtown structure in 1903. The first floor was used as a store, while the third floor was previously used as the town’s opera house. At one point, the building was also used as a post office. Today, similarly to many of Micanopy’s historic downtown buildings, it is now used as an antiques shop.

Feaster undated

Feaster Building, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

Herlong Mansion

This stately home was first built in 1845 by R. S. Stoughton. Eventually, a Mr. Simonton, the father-in-law of Z. C. Herlong, purchased the house. Mr. Simonton bought the house when Herlong married one of Mr. Simonton’s daughters, Natalie. Today, the beautiful house and property serves as a bed and breakfast for visitors to Micanopy.

Herlong undated

Herlong Mansion, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

Micanopy Banking Company Building

John Jacob Barr constructed this building in 1906 as the Micanopy Banking Co. It was the only bank the downtown area had at that time. The bank closed in December 1927, probably because of the crash of the Florida land boom in the late 1920s. This building is now used as a local antiques store, but the bank’s original tellers’ cages and vault remain.

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Micanopy Historic Cemetery

Dr. H. Lucious Montgomery established this historic cemetery in the early 1800s. In 1905, the Micanopy Cemetery Association was created to preserve and take care of the cemetery. The earliest burial in the cemetery is that of James W. Martin who was born in 1737 and died in 1826. The cemetery has since had thousands of burials throughout its history.

Micanopy Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony- 1918

Micanopy Historic Cemetery on Memorial Day 1918, courtesy of the State Library & Archives of Florida

Stewart-Merry House

Dr. James A. Stewart built this house in 1855. It was originally a log building with only two rooms, but its various owners expanded upon it throughout the years. Eventually, William and Julia Edwards owned the house until John and Edna Merry bought it in 1916. The Merrys’ daughters continued living in the house until after 1945. This home is actually the oldest standing house in the town of Micanopy. It is also one of the last remaining antebellum houses in the state of Florida.

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Town Hall

The Micanopy Town Hall building was constructed in 1895 as County School No. 15. The structure’s original cornerstone named the school as the “Lamisophonian Institute.” This made-up word meant “the friend to wisdom.” After many expansions, the building later became Micanopy Junior High School. Today, the structure is now used as the town hall and library.

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Newberry

Dudley Farm

In the 1850s, Philip Benjamin Harvey Dudley moved from South Carolina to Florida. In 1859, he purchased the land where the farm now stands, and the first building on the site was a simple log cabin. After the Civil War, the family began to fully occupy the farm. During the 1870s, Dudley Farm’s location along the road made it a prime stop for cowboys and travelers. After Philip Dudley died, his son Philip “Ben” Dudley Jr. began to expand the farm. In 1885, the Dudleys built a new house to fit the growing family. The family members consisted of Ben, his wife Fannie, and their eventual 12 children.

By the 1890s, the family built a general store along the road. Ben also constructed other buildings including a corn crib, a cotton storehouse, a cane syrup complex, a sweet potato cellar, stables, and a smokehouse. By the time Ben died in 1918, the farm had 15 buildings. In the 1950s, only four Dudleys remained on the farm. In 1983, Myrtle Dudley donated the land to the state of Florida, which began working on restoration. In 2001, the land became a state park that now hosts several major events attracting hundreds of visitors each year.

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Red Brick Schoolhouse/Little Red Schoolhouse

One of Newberry’s most historic locations is the schoolhouse. Built in 1910, it is commonly called the “Little Red Schoolhouse.” This building served as Newberry Elementary School until the 1930s. After this, the school system continued using the building until 1975. The structure was later restored and now houses a museum and offices.

Little Red Schoolhouse (Newberry grade school building)- 1920s

Little Red Schoolhouse – 1920s, courtesy of the State Library & Archives of Florida

Rochelle

Martha Perry Institute (Rochelle School)

This building located in the small community of Rochelle was once the Martha Perry Institute. Sallie Perry donated the land in 1885 and named the school after her mother. Notably, Sallie was the daughter of Governor Madison Starke Perry who lived nearby. The building served as a public school for white students. The school held classes until 1935 when it officially closed. Today the structure is unoccupied, but the original school desks are still inside.

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Rochelle Methodist Church

William Dixon Tillman built the Rochelle Methodist Church in 1890. After over 50 years, the church had its last service in 1943. Although it is now unoccupied, the building still has the original pews and stained-glass windows.

Rochelle UMC 1998

Rochelle United Methodist Church – 1998, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

Waldo

Dr. George Ambrose House

Dr. George Ambrose constructed his house around the year 1883. In the same year, author C. H. Webber described him as “…one of the influential citizens of the place.” Ambrose was an owner of the local Raulerson & Ambrose General Merchandise business when he moved to Florida in 1875. He was also well known for growing orange trees on his property.

Ambrose House Sketch- 1883

Sketch of the Ambrose House – 1883, courtesy of the State Library & Archives of Florida

Entenza Cigar Factory

This building was constructed around 1881. After his first local factory burned down, Manuel Entenza bought the building. Entenza had his tobacco shipped from Cuba. He also preferred employing women to roll the cigars because of their smaller hands. In the factory, the employees hired someone to read newspapers and magazines out loud during working hours. In the early 1900s, Entenza moved his business to Jacksonville where he could expand. By the 1920s, a Mrs. Johnson bought the building and used it as a boarding house for railroad workers. Throughout its history, local clubs used the building’s other floor as a meeting place. Today, the Cook family owns the building.

Cigar factory undated

Entenza Cigar Factory, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum

Windsor

Kelly-Nielson-Middletown House

R. H. Kelly built the Kelly-Nielson-Middleton House around 1884. It is a fine example of stick-style architecture in Florida. Throughout the years, the Kelly, Story, Valentine, and Nielson families have occupied this house. In 1973, the Middletons bought the home. Today, the house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kelly Nielson home undated

Kelly-Nielson-Middleton House, courtesy of the Matheson History Museum