The Matheson Museum

Alachua County Historic Trust


Museum Hours:

Tuesday-Friday:9:30 am-1:30 pm

2nd & 4th Saturday: 10:00 am- 4:00 pm

Sunday: 1:00 pm- 5:00pm

For more information call: (352)378-2280



The rich history of Alachua County is the focus of the many exhibits at the Matheson Museum. Its goal is to provide information on Alachua County's first settlers. The museum has everything from clothing styles to information on the history of many buildings in Gainesville.

The Matheson Museum is a private, non-profit organization that receives its funding through membership opportunities, fundraiser's, donations and a trust fund. This money allows the building to be open to the public, offering a place to do research on the history of Gainesville. Included in their displays are information about the first settlers of Gainesville, the geology of Alachua County, the development of the University of Florida and the floral found here in Florida. The geology section describes the different areas of alachua county, ranging from creeks, prairies, lakes and sinkholes. The University of Florida display starts from the beginning during the Buckman Act of 1905, when it consolidated the eight colleges in FLorida and assigning this area for the all white males. The Gainesville won in the debate over whether to build the university here or Lake City because the Gainesville offered free water for the University. Much more information is offered in the exhibit, along with photos and artifacts from the beginnings of Alachua County.

Along with the photos and artifacts about the first settlers in Gainesville, the museum has a continuously growing research library. The library provides information on numerous historic events and old structures throughout Alachua County. Everything is divided by subject, such as information on Homecoming 1942 or the Arts Festival in 1989. The subjects are sporadic considering many of the pieces of information are donated. Background on many of the older homes and buildings of Gainesville is also available. The Museum has old deeds or sources for the original us of a building for someone wanting to know the history of their office or home. The library is used by many local researchers and students who are interested in the history of Alachua County.

The efforts of the museum to provide resources of information is not confined to within the building. The Museum's staff also provides tours of local historic neighborhoods and holds antique shows for local residents. John Sikorski was recently available at the Museum to appraise antiques or collectibles for anyone interested. Sikorski is a Gainesville resident who also works at one of the Universities radio stations. With all the events Matheson Museum participates in , its efforts always reflect some part of Alachua counties heritage. The Musical festival they hold focuses on the local music artists. In hopes to reach further into the community the museum would like to contact more nationally known bands or artists to perform, but only those that have originated in Gainesville.



The Museums of Gainesville