We’re starting this last section of US 90 on the Madison/Suwannee County border, on the Suwannee River itself. You’re in Ellaville, though it’s not much more than a road sign and a highway patrol station.
You can also see the old Hillman Bridge, which is just north of the US 90 bridge. It carried the original road across the river. It’s closed to vehicle traffic, but you can walk it from one side to another. There’s an old building on the west side, which looks like it was a store or maybe a tourist trap. I’m surprised how intact it is.
A few miles on through Twin Rivers State Forest is the entrance to the Suwannee River State Park. There are overlooks of the river, but it doesn’t look like it’s set up for swimming in the park. Boating, maybe. If you take the right path, you can get another vantage point of the Hillman and US 90 bridges, as well as the railroad bridge next to them. (see Google map)
- Suwannee River State Park
- Twin Rivers State Forest
- old Hillman Bridge (on Suwannee River, just north of US 90)
The rest of the road is rather desolate until you get to the edges of Live Oak. Which surprises me, since you’ll pass one of the few intersections of US 90 and I-10. There’s an on and off ramp, but not even a convenience store or gas station. Only the remnants of one. Most other I-10 exits have at least a fruit stand. I can’t figure out why this is such a major exception.
It may feel like you’ll never get to Live Oak. But you’ll reach the fringes in another 4 miles. Then you’ll wonder if you’ll ever get out. Not that it’s Jacksonville or anything, but it seems bigger than Monticello or Madison. Maybe there’s just more development along US 90.
Downtown Live Oak isn’t a historic district, but it easily could be. All the historic places on the list immediately below are in close proximity. Parking near the old city hall and then across from the courthouse are the best options, I think. (see Google map)
- Old Live Oak City Hall (212 North Ohio Avenue) (NRHP)
- Union Depot and Atlantic Coast Line Freight Station (200 North Ohio Avenue) (NRHP)
- Dowling House-Senior Citizen’s Home (406 East Duval Street) (AGFHA)
- George Allison House (418 West Duval Street) (NRHP)
- Mayor Broome House (105 North Houston Ave.) (AGFHA)
- Suwannee County Courthouse (200 South Ohio Avenue) (NRHP)
- Live Oak Post Office (South Ohio Ave and Parshley St) (AGFHA)
- Bishop B. Blackwell House (110 Parshley Street) (NRHP)
- Kirby House (704 South Ohio Ave) (AGFHA)
- Dr. Price House (702 Pine Avenue) (NRHP)
- Rogers House (Suwannee Ave and SR 51) (AGFHA)
There are two more Live Oak sites, but they’re a ways east. First is the Hull-Hawkins House, on the NRHP. I thought I’d never find the dang place, but tireless research on the part of yours truly lead me to it. The other is Mandi’s Chapel, part of Camp Weed. It was included in Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.. One of the rare examples not in or near a major urban center. I don’t know how accessible to the public the camp is. Check before you go. (see Google map)
- Hull-Hawkins House (CR 49, 6.5 miles south of US 90) (NRHP)
- Mandi’s Chapel (11057 Camp Weed Place) FL100
The last stop in Suwannee County is the teensy town of Wellborn. There’s a short section of the old Florida State Road No. 1 here, and some old buildings, all near the railroad tracks. Also a blueberry festival. Might check that out some year. (see Google map)
- Brick Commercial structure (CR 137 and 8th Avenue, across from post office) (AGFHA)
- Brick road (8th Avenue, west of CR 137)
- Walters House (1750 8th Avenue) (AGFHA)
- McLeran Stores (1309 6th Avenue) (AGFHA)
There you go, another portion of one of my top roads in the state done. See you on the road!
Route length: 130 miles