Altha, Florida

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Altha, Florida
Town Hall of Altha, Florida; 2008.
Town Hall of Altha, Florida; 2008.
Location of Altha in Calhoun County, Florida.
Location of Altha in Calhoun County, Florida.
Coordinates: 30°34′18″N 85°7′39″W / 30.57167°N 85.12750°W / 30.57167; -85.12750Coordinates: 30°34′18″N 85°7′39″W / 30.57167°N 85.12750°W / 30.57167; -85.12750
Country United States
State Florida
County Calhoun
Area
 • Total1.37 sq mi (3.54 km2)
 • Land1.34 sq mi (3.46 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
Elevation
203 ft (62 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total536
 • Estimate 
(2018)[2]
504
 • Density376.96/sq mi (145.51/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
32421
Area code(s)850
FIPS code12-01000[3]
GNIS feature ID0277823[4]

Altha is a small town in Calhoun County, Florida, United States. The population was 536 at the 2010 census.[5] This is an increase from 506 as of 2000. Altha was founded in 1902.

Geography[edit]

Downtown Altha

Altha is located at 30°34′18″N 85°7′39″W / 30.57167°N 85.12750°W / 30.57167; -85.12750 (30.571710, -85.127533).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.72%) is water.

Altha is located in northwestern Florida, approximately 45 minutes from the Georgia state line and one hour from the Alabama state line. Altha is in a rural county, with the primary industry being agriculture. Tomatoes, watermelons, green vegetables, cucumbers, peanuts, corn, wheat, and cotton are all major crops in this farming area. The timber industry also thrives in the area, with many farmers electing to plant pine trees.

Businesses and attractions[edit]

The largest employer in Altha is Oglesby Plants International.[7] The Chipola River, about three miles west of Altha, offers swimming and fishing opportunities.

Weather[edit]

Altha has an average high temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average low of 51 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers in this area are quite hot and humid, with afternoon showers frequently occurring during the summer months. Altha is located about 35 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, so when tropical storms or hurricanes approach the coastline, weather can become severe. In 2004, during Hurricane Ivan, dozens of homes were destroyed and four people were killed because of a severe tornado striking near the town.

The coldest part of the winter occurs during late January and early February. Temperatures at night can dip as low as the lower 20s, and in some isolated instances, even striking the mid-teens. Days can be cool during these few weeks, with temperatures sometimes struggling to reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

In October 2018, Altha and the surrounding areas were hit by Hurricane Michael. Hurricane Michael, listed as a category 5 hurricane, and the strongest to ever hit North West Florida, caused extensive damage to the town. The old high school building, known as the white building, and many homes were damaged and/or destroyed as a result.

Education[edit]

Altha, served by the Calhoun County School District is home to the K-12 Altha Public School, established early after the turn of the twentieth century.

Sports[edit]

The girls' volleyball team has won numerous district, region, and state semi-finals playoffs as well. Altha School runs boys' basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, weightlifting, and a cross-country team. The girls' and boys' weightlifting teams have won several state championships.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1950434
1960413−4.8%
19704232.4%
198047813.0%
19904974.0%
20005061.8%
20105365.9%
Est. 2018504[2]−6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census of 2010, there were 536 people and 219 households in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 99.5% Caucasian and 0.5% Asian or Hispanic/Latino. While there are currently no formal limitations, Altha has long been known as a sundown town with signs present at the city limits banning blacks people after sunset as recently as the 1980s and in 2007 it was reported by a local teacher that black people were not welcome there. There are still several Confederate flags flying around town.

The population was 47 percent male and 53 percent female. Twenty-three percent of the population was under 18 and 15.5 percent was 65 or over.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". 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. ^ US Census Archived 2012-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.