2022 Road Trip Part 18 A

15 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 18 (6/2/2022)

Today after breakfast, I headed southeast 45 miles on SR-100 to check out the Gainesville Raceway located about 10 miles northeast of Gainesville, FL.  This raceway is the home of ‘Gatornats’ (The Baby Gators & NHRA Gatornationals drag racing).  There was nothing going on today, so I took a photo of their entrance sign and headed on down the road to visit the next museum.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I continued south 15 miles on SR-232 to visit the CADE Museum located in the Gainesville Depot area of Gainesville, FL.  This large museum is dedicated to inspiring and equipping young inventors and visionaries with the tools they may need to reach their potential.  This museum has two floors filled with educational improvement exhibits and interactive areas designed to guide the inquisitive mind forward.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed south 15 miles on SR-25 to visit the Micanopy Historical Museum located in the small town of Micanopy, FL.  The town of Micanopy (originally Wanton) has a history that dates from when Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto noted a Timucuan Indian village here in 1539.  The town’s slogan is “The Town that Time Forgot.”  The small museum can be found in the old original 1890 Thrasher warehouse building and displays local antique artifacts and memorabilia dating from the early 1800s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Down the street I stopped to take a photo of the Old Evinston Post Office, which was originally built in 1882 for Simon Shettleworth for use as a warehouse.  It has been the Wood & Swink general store and Post Office since 1884.  The buildings in Micanopy/Evinston must have been constructed with loblolly or heart pine, because many of them, including the original Post Office building, are still standing and in use today after 130+ years of Florida weather.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I was leaving Micanopy, I stopped at the old 1881 Depot Café hoping to have an early lunch, but they were not open yet.  It looked like it would be a very interesting place to eat.  Lots of local history.    Oh well, maybe the next time I’m in this area they will be open, and I can give them a try.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

It was another 10 miles south on US-441 to check out the Florida State Fire College located just east of I-75 in Reddick, FL.  This Fire College was founded in 1939 and is a training facility that trains fire fighters in the use of various types of firefighting methods and equipment.  I did not opt for a tour, but continued in search of my next museum.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Another 10 miles south on Old Gainesville Road took me to downtown Ocala, FL where I stopped long enough to take a photo of the city square with its inlayed tile patio, a gazebo, and many beautiful floral arrangements.  Ocala is another Florida city that can trace its roots back to 1539 when Hernando De Soto found another Timucua Indian village at this site.  The city of Ocala, which was founded in 1849, is named after that Timucua Chief, Ocali.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was another 25 miles south on I-75 to where I visited the Old Baker House Museum located in Wildwood, FL.  I have to say at this point, the traffic jam at the intersection of I-75, SR-44, and SR-91 was, by far, the worst I have encountered during this whole trip.  Miles of traffic backups in both directions of all three roads.  The Baker House Museum is situated in the old restored two-story 1890 home, built by Senator David H. Baker (1841-1917), and is filled with many of the family’s original late 1800s furnishings and other artifacts.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2 Responses to “2022 Road Trip Part 18 A”

  1. Joseph Malcom March 17, 2023 at 4:08 pm #

    Rebecca, long time. What’s goal of your travel? Every museum in FL? Use in book. Help us folk that haven’t been reading all posts


  2. ludyja March 15, 2023 at 11:00 am #

    WOW! Loved this one!


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