Suwannee Valley Shoppes in Trenton, Florida



Stephanie Metts


Welcome to my hometown of Trenton, Florida. A few months ago I was in town visiting my Mother and working on some editorial work and decided to photograph The Suwannee Valley Shoppes as part of a personal, historical project.



Suwannee Valley Shoppes


Trenton, Florida is about thirty miles west of Gainesville in Gilchrist County. My family moved us there when I was in the 8th grade and while I don’t get home often, it’s always refreshing when I do. There’s something about a small town, good people and familiar places and faces from your childhood.


Trenton Florida Coke Bottles


The Metts family are a few of these familiar folks whom I’ve known since I was a kid living on the Suwannee River in the mid 80’s. Mr. Paul Metts was the CEO of Shands Hospital and they had a weekend place just down the river from us and would visit frequently. They taught me how to ski behind their Grady White and also were the folks who gave me one of the best pups I ever had.  A lab mix named Bo, short for Bocephus (like Hank Jr) was my friend, hunting partner and all around confidant for 13 years.


Mr. and Mrs. Metts purchased and have since restored several old buildings in Trenton and have done amazing things by trying to attract cultural tourism to the community. They turned the old Coca Cola bottling plant into a state of the art quilt store and cafe and the ice house into an antique store, hair salon and tea room. Folks from all over the state and beyond are making Trenton a destination rather than passing through the single stop light we have in the county. They are currently trying to create the state’s first Quilt Trail like already developed in other states. In addition, they have an annual Quilt Fest which just occurred in early March.


Attached are a few more images from the project. If you’re ever around North Central Florida, be sure to stop by.



Suwannee Valley Shoppes Dog


Trenton Florida Suwannee Valley Shoppes



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