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See the Past Come to Life at the Matheson History Museum

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One of our favorite parts about Gainesville, Florida, is the incredible history it holds. Here, old combines with the new to create something truly special. If you consider yourself a history buff or would just like to learn something during your stay at Sweetwater Branch Inn, there are many museums and historic sites you can visit! One of our favorites is the Matheson History Museum.

Are you looking for more museums and historic sites like the Matheson History Museum? We can help! Our complimentary Vacation Guide was created to answer any questions you may have about our area. Whether you are looking for the best places to eat or family-friendly outdoor activities, you’ll find it in this handy guide!

About the Matheson History Museum

The Matheson History Museum is conveniently located in the heart of historic downtown Gainesville, just a few minutes down the street from Sweetwater Branch Inn! You can grab one of our on-site bikes and be there in no time. Here, you will find the 1867 Matheson House as well as a variety of exhibits that highlight our area’s rich history.

How Much Does Admission Cost?

Admission into the Matheson History Museum is free! However, they do ask you to make a donation if you are able. Tours of the exhibitions in the museum portion are free, but it is $5 to take a tour of the Matheson House.

The Exhibitions

The Matheson History Museum is home to both permanent and rotating exhibits. You are more than welcome to explore the museum building yourself, or you can schedule a tour. Permanent exhibits include a 1,400-year-old canoe, the recreation of a 20th-century store, a spotlight on the Timucuan tribe, and more! The temporary exhibits are rotating, so you will get to see something new every time you visit. Each is designed around Alachua County’s past. You are also welcome to explore their library to do a little research and learn more about the area!

The Matheson House

Completed in 1867, the Matheson House is one of the oldest residences in Gainesville! James Douglas Matheson, a merchant from South Carolina, built the house and resided in it before passing it down to his son who became the mayor of Gainesville. His wife, Sarah, helped form the Alachua County Historical Society and co-founded the creation of the Matheson History Museum. Sarah deeded the home to the historical society, and now they have merged to create a piece of Florida history.

Stay in History at Sweetwater Branch Inn

Victoria's Cottage at Sweetwater Branch InnLike much of Gainesville, Sweetwater Branch Inn is the perfect combination of historic elegance and modern luxury. We have done our best to upgrade each of the Victorian-style homes on our property while keeping their charm. In our accommodations, you’ll find both antiques and contemporary items. Not only is our property an oasis of green amongst the city, it is still close enough to countless attractions like the Matheson History Museum. We even have bikes on site for you to borrow and explore with! Plus, our outstanding amenities put us a step above the big-name hotels. Browse our rooms, suites, and cottages, then book your stay at Sweetwater Branch Inn.