“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gainesville in Alachua County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Matheson House

Matheson House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, September 5, 2016
1. Matheson House Marker
Inscription.  Side 1:
The Matheson homestead dates from 1857, when Alexander Matheson brought his family from Camden, South Carolina to establish a home on the Sweetwater Branch at the eastern edge of the new town of Gainesville. The present one and a half story Matheson House is believed to incorporate much of the original one story home. Alexander moved his family back to South Carolina in the early years of the Civil War. After the war and settlement of a mortgage foreclosure, the property was acquired by his younger brother, James D. Matheson, who had served as an officer in the Seventh South Carolina Cavalry and surrendered at Appomattox. He moved into the home in 1867 with his new bride, Augusta Florida Steele, daughter of Judge Augustus Steele, founder of Cedar Key, and an influential Florida pioneer during the territorial and early statehood period. James, a prominent businessman and merchant, ran a successful dry goods store and engaged in other commercial enterprises. He was also a trustee of the East Florida Seminary and served on the Alachua County Commission from 1895 to 1899. Elected County Treasurer in 1909, he held that office until
Matheson House Marker Side 2 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, September 5, 2016
2. Matheson House Marker Side 2
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his death in 1911.
(Continued on other side)
Side 2:
(Continued from other side)
By 1907, James and Augusta had enlarged their home, adding the second floor bedrooms, the distinctive gambrel roof and gabled dormers, a first floor sitting room, and enclosing part of the back porch. Their son, Christopher, born in 1874, continued to live here after completing his education at the East Florida Seminary and the Citadel. He established a law practice in 1900, and served as mayor of Gainesville from 1910 to 1917 and in the Florida Legislature in 1917 and 1919. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1919, he left his law practice to serve the ministry in Oklahoma for the next 26 years. During this time the house was rented to various tenants. On his retirement in 1946, he returned home with his wife, Sarah Hamilton Matheson. She maintained her residence here after his death in 1952, and in 1989 donated the property to the Matheson Historical Center, Inc. The evolution of the Matheson House from a modest, mid-19th century farm house to its early 20th century appearance reflects the increasing prosperity of its owners in a growing community. It is preserved today as a reminder of their accomplishments and of those other early residents of Gainesville.
Erected 1992 by The Alachua County Historical Commission
Matheson House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, September 5, 2016
3. Matheson House Marker
As the Marker currently appears, partially hidden in vegetation.
in cooperation with the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-338.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1857.
Location. 29° 39.07′ N, 82° 19.182′ W. Marker is in Gainesville, Florida, in Alachua County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of SE 1st Avenue and SE 6th Street. Marker is on the grounds of the Matheson House/Museum Complex. Can be found on a path SW of the house surrounded by heavy vegetation. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 513 E University Ave, Gainesville FL 32601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Gainesville Servicemen's Center / Thelma Boltin Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); East Florida Seminary (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spanish Cattle Ranching (approx. ¼ mile away); City of Gainesville (approx. ¼ mile away); First Gainesville Skirmish / Battle of Gainesville (approx. ¼ mile away); Lynching in America / Reconstruction-Era Lynchings in Gainesville (approx. 0.3 miles away); Alachula County Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Roper Park / Old City Park (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gainesville.
Regarding Matheson House. The Matheson House is part of the Matheson History Museum complex. Originally built and owned by the Matheson
Matheson House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, September 5, 2016
4. Matheson House
family, it is one of the three oldest homes in Gainesville. It was the home of Christopher Matheson, Gainesville's longest serving mayor.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2016, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 394 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 9, 2016, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 6, 2023