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Columbia County Florida: Gateway To The Sunshine State

Aug 18, 2007
Columbia County Florida is one of the fastest growing areas of the state of Florida with a population that has nearly doubled in the past 25 years. The county and its surrounding areas are chalk full of fresh water resources such as lakes and rivers, so many so that the county's seat was originally named "Alligator". Columbia County in general and Lake City in particular have long been sought out by travelers interested in everything from extreme water sports to simple rest and relaxation.

The county's north central location puts it within easy driving distance of Stephen Foster State Park, the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, O'Lena State Park, Olustee Beach and many other locations of pristine natural beauty. Battle reenactments are a constant draw in many of the county's fairs and festivals. Columbia County is rife with history, including that of the Civil War.

Lake City was originally established by the Seminole Indians with European settlers later establishing the nearby town of Alligator. When the mayor's wife expressed distaste with the name of the then amalgamated city, the name was promptly changed by her husband to Lake City. Rich in history and overflowing with natural beauty, this small city of under 10,000 people beckons travelers and residents in a way that no other northern Florida city can. Known as the "Gateway To Florida", due to the fact that Interstate 75 runs directly through the town, Lake City offers a meet and greet to tourists and visitors as they enter northern Florida destined for points south of Columbia County.

A tiny town of only 400 residents, Fort White was once a booming citrus center of over 2,000 people. The severe winter freezes during 1896 and 1897 effectively ended the citrus boom in this northern part of Florida and residents quickly found work in the same industry further south. The town is left with the rich history of its once booming economy.

The small city of Watertown boasts a tiny population of just under 3,000 residents and is so-named for the abundance of fresh water sources in and around city limits. With local rivers running both above and below the ground, many natural springs and whirlpools have emerged. The area lies just east of the metropolitan area of Lake City, providing quick and easy access to big city amenities while maintaining the wonderful aura of the simple life in a small northern Florida town.
About the Author
Timothy Tyson has spent most of 2007 in his car driving around the state of Florida. Find out what he learned about Columbia County Florida by visiting his website.
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