Crestview History Museum
In addition to being home to the Crestview History Museum, the Bush House also houses the Crestview Historic Preservation Board and the Crestview Area Sister City Program.
• Tuesday-Friday: 10 AM - 4 PM
• Every second Saturday of the month for special family-friendly programs and presentations. Group and class tours can be arranged and are welcome.
198 S Wilson St.
Crestview, FL 32536
A Walk Through History...
It wasn’t meant to happen this way, but as the historic Bush House underwent renovation in 2022, it soon became obvious that rather than being simply a building to host the Crestview History Museum, the house became a historic artifact in its own right and more integrally entwined with the museum and the stories it tells.
Begun in 1925, the stately American craftsman style home originally had four downstairs rooms and three bedrooms upstairs when Louisville and Nashville Railroad track supervisor Lorenza Bush and his family moved in in early 1926.
During the course of our renovations, the Bush House shared its secrets and surprises with us:
• The central bathroom had rotated 180 degrees — and had a window overlooking what is now the hallway to the current kitchen;
• The staircase to the second floor had also been rotated 180 degrees;
• Every closet had been covered in floral wallpaper. One still remains papered and has been returned to being a closet for early 20th-century clothing;
• As revealed by vintage plumbing, an odd 3.5-foot by 16-foot bathroom on the second floor had been built in the 1940s, not the 1970s as we had originally thought; and
• A balcony overlooking Wilson Street was apparently not attached very securely and was removed by the mid-‘70s. When porch renovation work was undertaken in 2022, no sign of previous balcony support structure was found.
Artifacts on display illustrate the richness and diversity of Crestview’s past, including tools and equipment used by the L&N Railroad, early 1900s newspapers, county and city administrative equipment, the phonebooth from the second Okaloosa County courthouse, even Bob Sikes’s hat.
An exhibit about Crestview’s almost 35-year relationship under Sister Cities International with Noirmoutier, France, includes material about the island’s agricultural industries. The Sister City Program and the Crestview Historic Preservation Board both have office space on the Bush House’s second floor.
Throughout the house are donated 1930s and ‘40s furniture, with a front Parlour furnished to reflect a family of the Bush’s stature in the community. The kitchen, restored in the late 1930s style including a pre-World War II top-of-the-line, two-oven Norge stove, has been the scene for lunches, receptions, children’s Christmas cookie decorating, and a women’s church group Bible study and chili lunch.