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Lake City, Florida

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City of Lake City, Florida
—  City  —
Lake City 150 Years logo

Location in Columbia County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 30°11′23″N 82°38′23″W / 30.18972°N 82.63972°W / 30.18972; -82.63972Coordinates: 30°11′23″N 82°38′23″W / 30.18972°N 82.63972°W / 30.18972; -82.63972
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Columbia
Settled 1830
Incorporated 1859
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Stephen M. Witt
 - City Manager Wendell Johnson
Area[1] 1
 - City 11.1 sq mi (28.7 km2)
 - Land 10.6 sq mi (27.4 km2)
 - Water .5 sq mi (1.3 km2)  4.69%
Elevation3 194 ft (59 m)
Population (1 July 2006)[2] 2
 - City 9,953
 Density 944.8/sq mi (364.8/km2)
 Metro 67,007
  2006 Estimates
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 32024-32025, 32055-32056
Area code(s) 386
FIPS code 12-37775[3]
GNIS feature ID 0305917[4]

Lake City is the county seat of Columbia County, [5] Florida, in the United States. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 11,953.[2] In addition, it is the Principal City of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had an estimated 2006 population of 67,007.[6] The city's Sesquicentennial occurred in 2009.



[edit] History

The site of Lake City was a Seminole village named Alpata Telophka, meaning "Alligator Town". By 1830, a Euro-American town called Alligator was established, adjacent to the Seminole town. The city was incorporated and changed to its current name in 1859. The name was changed because the mayor's wife, who had recently moved to the town, refused to hang her lace curtains in a town named Alligator. Local bodies of water include Lake DeSota, Lake Isabella, Alligator Lake, Lake Hamburg, Gwen Lake, Lake Harper and Watertown Lake.

The American Civil War Battle of Olustee took place near Lake City in February 1864. It was the only major battle in Florida during the war. Union casualties were 1,861 men killed, wounded or missing; Confederate losses were 946 killed, wounded or missing.

Southern Business & Development magazine has ranked Lake City | Columbia County number eight Best Small Market over the last ten years.

By the early 20th century, Lake City had become an important railroad junction, served by the Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Georgia Southern, and the Florida Railroad.

By 1950 the population of Lake City was 7,467 people and forestry (turpentine, lumber, and pulpwood) had become a mainstay of the local economy.

In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed. This was a group of amateur radio operators that enjoyed the ability to communicate all over the world. This radio club still exists today.[7]

Lake City's Centennial was celebrated in 1959 with parades, fireworks and a 58-page book documenting one hundred years of progress, “A Century in the Sun”. The citizens of the town dressed in period attire, complete with whiskers. A good-natured clash arose between the men with additional facial hair and the women who did not like it.[8]

A 15 year research project on a well known aspect of Lake City's history has just been placed on line by its author, James M. Gray, a former Florida resident, for everyone to examine and read at no cost.

The "Lake City Tombs", relating to the discovery of petrified bodies in an underground cavern in lake City in 1927 has long been known, scoffed at and its discoverer belittled. In the 15 years of research, however, involving the U.S. National Archives, international co-operations, banks, politicians and eye-witnesses, proof has been discovered and made available to vindicate Mr. du Mazuel and his discovery.[citation needed]

[edit] Geography

Lake City is located at 30°11′23″N 82°38′23″W / 30.189640°N 82.639654°W / 30.189640; -82.639654.[9] Lake City is near the intersection of Interstate highways I-10 and I-75. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 mi² (28.7 km²). 10.6 square miles (27 km2) of it is land and .5 square miles (1 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.69% water.

[edit] Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there are 9,980 people, 4,043 households, and 2,429 families residing in the city. The population density is 944.8/sq mi (364.9/km²). There are 4,536 housing units at an average density of 429.4/sq mi (165.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 59.32% White, 37.46% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.82% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 4,043 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% are married couples living together, 20.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% are non-families. 33.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.34 and the average family size is 3.01.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $26,161, and the median income for a family is $31,920. Males have a median income of $27,369 versus $21,290 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,697. 20.5% of the population and 16.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 27.8% of those under the age of 18 and 16.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

[edit] Economy

Lake City and Columbia County, Florida are known as "The Gateway to Florida" because Interstate 75 runs though them, carrying a large percentage of Florida's tourist and commercial traffic. Lake City is the northernmost sizable town/city in Florida on Interstate 75 and the location where I-10 and I-75 intersect. Interstate 10 is the southernmost east-west major interstate highway and traverses the country from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California.

Agricultural products of the area include tobacco, corn, peanuts, cotton, melons, timber and pulpwood.

Lake City is the location of the Osceola National Forest's administrative offices.

The Lake City Municipal Airport is a local center of business. The airport is classified as a General Aviation facility, but two on-site operations are somewhat unique. TIMCO is an aircraft modification and rehabilitation operation for large (B-727, 737) civilian and military aircraft. The United States Forest Service uses C-130 transport aircraft in support of its forest fire-fighting operations in the southeast US.

Since 2000, four companies have begun large operations in Lake City: Hunter Panels, New Millennium, Target Distribution Center and United States Cold Storage.[10]

The top employers in Lake City are:[11]

Rank Company Name¡ý Business Description¡ý # Employees¡ý
1 Columbia County School Board Education 1,389
2 VA Medical Center Healthcare 970
3 Sitel Computer/internet sales & consulting 750
4 TIMCO Aircraft Overhaul/rehabilitation 575
5 Wal-Mart Supercenter Retail Sales 539
6 Shands at Lake Shore Healthcare 433
7 PCS Phosphate Manufacturer 315
8 Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. Construction/Paving 305
9 Lake City Medical Center Healthcare 305
10 Columbia County Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement 310[12]
11 City of Lake City Government 260
12 Lake City Correctional Prison 258
13 Target Distribution center Distribution 240
14 Columbia County Board of Commissioners Government 215
15 Florida Gateway College Education 212
16 S&S Food Stores Convenience Stores 187
17 New Millennium Manufacturer 101
18 Town Homes, LLC Manufacturer 100
19 Hunter Panels Manufacturer 26
20 United States Cold Storage Logistics/shipping 20
Historic Henderson House

[edit] Recreation

[edit] Olustee Battle Festival

Every February since 1976, Lake City has hosted the Olustee Battle Festival and reenactment of the Battle of Olustee. The 31st Annual event was February 13 & 14th, 2009.[13] The Miss Olustee Pageant is held two weeks prior to the Battle Festival. Highlights include:

  • Memorial service at Oak Lawn Cemetery: to honor those who died from both sides (Friday morning)
  • Olustee Festival & Craft Show: Arts, Crafts, Foods, Exhibits, & two stages with continuous live entertainment Friday and Saturday.
  • Battle of the Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac: Friday night on Lake DeSoto.
  • Dancing: Friday night-Trails End Dance; Saturday afternoon-Street Dance; Saturday night-Blue-Grey Square Dance
  • Running Races: Blue-Grey 5-K and 1 Mile Kids Fun Run early Saturday morning
  • Olustee Festival Parade: Saturday mid-morning
  • Olustee Battle Reenactment: Hundreds of re-enactors come from all over the country to participate in this historical event
  • Columbia County Historical Museum: "Angels of Mercy" drama Friday afternoon; museum open all weekend
  • Olustee Battlefield State Park: open 9am-6pm all weekend

[edit] Alligator fest

The city was originally named Alligator, after Halpatter Tustenuggee, the Seminole known as Chief Alligator in what is now Columbia County. The Festival tries to educate and entertain by demonstrating how Native American, European and Black settlers survived in the frontier wilderness. Programs are scheduled to demonstrate how to load and fire black powder rifles, tan hides, cook using primitive methods, make flint tools and utilize native materials to build shelter. The social life of Native Americans will be shared through their music and dancing.[14]

The first fest was held in 1995 at Olustee Park in downtown Lake City. After 2000, the event was not held for two years while the park was completely rebuilt, after which the city refused permission to use the park, citing previous landscape damage. The location was shifted to Wilson Park for two years, then moved to the campus of Lake City Community College. In 2009, the city's Sesquicentennial Celebration at the old memorial stadium gave a special meaning to the weekend festivities of October 9th-11th.[15]

[edit] "Normal" recreational facilities

9 Soccer Fields—26 Ball Fields –- 7 Tennis Courts –- 8 Raquet Ball Courts –- 1 Skating Rink –- 2 Golf Course –- 4 Local Parks –- 1 Bowling Alley –- 6 screen Movie Theater –- 1 Public Swimming Pool –- 1 YMCA –- 1 Amateur Theatre –- 3 State Parks –- 2 Auto Racing Tracks –- 2 Country Clubs—Hunting - Fishing—Water Sports

[edit] Notable natives

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Florida by place Population, Housing Units, Area and Density:2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida" (XLS). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (XLS). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  7. ^ In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed.
  8. ^ Lake City Reporter: March 8, 2008-Lake City’s 150th birthday — time for a celebration by Morris Williams
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ Hardison, Jeff M.: [1] Lake City Reporter, October 31, 2008, "Tax breaks attract business"
  11. ^ Lake City Chamber of Commerce, Major Employers
  12. ^ Columbia County Sheriff's website
  13. ^ Olustee Battle Festival website
  14. ^ [2] Alligator Fest website, History
  15. ^ [3] Alligator Fest website, Announcement

[edit] External links