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Alachua County, Florida

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This is a project for those who were born, lived, or died in Alachua County, Florida.


Alachua County was created by the Florida territorial legislature in 1824. The new county stretched from the border with Georgia south to Charlotte Harbor. The original county seat was Wanton's. In 1828 the county seat was moved to Newnansville, located near the current site of the city of Alachua.

As population increased in the area, Alachua County was soon reduced in size to organize new counties. In 1832 the county's northern part, including Newnansville, was separated to create Columbia County, forcing the county seat to be moved to various temporary locations. In 1834, Hillsborough County was created, which included the area around Tampa Bay down to Charlotte Harbor. In 1839 that part of Columbia County south of the Santa Fe River was returned to Alachua County, and Newnansville was restored as the county seat. Hernando County was created in 1843 from that part of Alachua County south of the Withlacoochee River; Marion County was created in 1844; and Levy County was created in 1846 from that part of Alachua County west of the Suwannee River.

In 1854, the new railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key bypassed Newnansville, and Gainesville, a new town on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville was designated, that year, as the new county seat.

During the post-Reconstruction period, white Democrats regained control of the state legislature and worked to restore white supremacy. Violence against blacks, including lynchings, rose in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as whites imposed Jim Crow and discriminatory laws, disenfranchising most blacks, which forced them out of the political system. Alachua County was the site of 21 documented lynchings between 1891 and 1926. The first three documented lynchings, in Gainesville in 1891, involved two black men and a white man, who were associated with the notorious Harmon Murray. Ten lynchings took place in Newberry, six of them in a mass lynching there in 1916. These lynchings were conducted outside the justice system, by mobs or small groups working alone. Nineteen of the victims were black; two were white. A 2015 report by the Equal Justice Institute, based in Montgomery, Alabama, had identified 18 lynchings. The Historical Commission documented three more, including two white men. A State Historical Marker on the Newberry Lynchings was dedicated in 2019.

Adjacent Counties


  • Alachua
  • Archer
  • Gainesville (County Seat)
  • Hawthorne
  • High Springs
  • La Crosse
  • Micanopy
  • Newberry
  • Waldo

Other Communities

Arredondo | Bland | Campville | Cross Creek | Earleton | Evinston (part) | Fairbanks | Flora | Fort Clarke | Gordon | Grove Park | Hague | Haile | Haile | Plantation | Island Grove | Jonesville | Lochloosa | Melrose (part) | Monteocha | Orange Heights | Rochelle | Rutledge | Tioga | Traxler | Wacahoota (part) |



The Maj. James B. Bailey House

Cox Furniture Store

Dudley Farm Historic State Park

Hotel Thomas

The Haile Plantation House

The Mary Phifer McKenzie House

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

The Winecoff House

University of Florida (UF) Campus Historic District