Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

West Nassau Historical Society off to New Start; Backers Say They're Loaded with Ideas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

West Nassau Historical Society off to New Start; Backers Say They're Loaded with Ideas

Article excerpt

Byline: AMELIA A. HART, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

The moribund West Nassau Historical Society, which owns the historic Callahan train depot, came back to life last week during the organization's first public membership meeting in years.

In what new president and director Jeanne Scott described as a "membership takeover," a new slate of society officers and board of directors were unanimously voted in Oct. 14 by about 30 members, including lifetime and board members, as well as a host of new members, many of whom joined the organization during the meeting.

"Our doors are now open to everyone and our community will go forward in the preservation and celebration of our history," Scott said. "We have an exciting time ahead of us."

New officers include Scott, vice president Marianne Marshall, who's also a Nassau County commissioner, secretary Tina Capps and treasurer Geri Scheaffer.

They replaced previous president and founding member Bobbi Boone, Callahan's former building and zoning administrator; vice president Jack Sikes, the town's former Town Council president; secretary Janet Johnson, wife of former Mayor Danny Johnson; and treasurer Sue Marsh.

A call to Boone for comment about the shake-up at the West Nassau Historical Society was referred to Fernandina Beach attorney Buddy Jacobs, who could not be reached.

The society had been a driving force in the 1980s in the preservation and restoration of the historic Callahan train depot, which dates back to the 1800s.

The society, however, became inactive to the point that its incorporation with the state had lapsed. The incorporation was reinstated in 2002. Scott said a brief inspection of the society's records, which she received this week, showed no new members had signed up in years.

That's not for lack of interest, Marshall said. She has fielded many questions through the years from locals interested in joining the historical society. …

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