Chiefland, Florida

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Chiefland, Florida
Chiefland City Hall
Chiefland City Hall
Motto(s): 
"Gem of The Suwanee Valley"
Location in Levy County and the state of Florida
Location in Levy County and the state of Florida
Chiefland, Florida is located in the United States
Chiefland, Florida
Chiefland, Florida
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 29°28′54″N 82°51′44″W / 29.48167°N 82.86222°W / 29.48167; -82.86222Coordinates: 29°28′54″N 82°51′44″W / 29.48167°N 82.86222°W / 29.48167; -82.86222
Country United States
State Florida
County Levy
Government
 • MayorBetty
Area
 • Total6.74 sq mi (17.45 km2)
 • Land6.74 sq mi (17.45 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
33 ft (10 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total2,245
 • Estimate 
(2019)[2]
2,186
 • Density324.48/sq mi (125.28/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
32626, 32644
Area code(s)352
FIPS code12-11925[3]
GNIS feature ID0307630[4]
Websitechiefland.govoffice.com

Chiefland is a city in Levy County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,245 at the 2010 census.[5] Chiefland calls itself the "Gem of the Suwannee Valley" and was incorporated in 1929.

History[edit]

A village of the Timucua people was once located south of the present city and at Manatee Springs. The area's economy is traditionally based on agriculture, primarily farming (peanuts, watermelons, hay); ranching (cattle, hogs); dairy (milk); timber (pulpwood, lumber, turpentine) and aquaculture (fishing, oystering, crabbing).

In July 1927, a Black man named Albert Williams was murdered by a mob. He had allegedly assaulted a white turpentine operator over a debt he owed the white man, and "was shot to death by a mob".[6]

Attractions[edit]

Manatee Springs State Park is located 6 miles (10 km) west of town; the crystal-clear water is a "first-magnitude" spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River. The park offers a full slate of activities, including camping. Manatees can be seen in the spring year-round, but especially in late fall and winter, where the constant 72 °F (22 °C) temperature of the spring is much warmer than river water.

The Annual Watermelon Festival is the largest event of the year and dates back to 1954. It is held each year on the first Saturday of June and is maintained by the Chiefland Women's Club.[7]

The Levy County Quilt Museum, founded by the Log Cabin Quilters club, is the only registered quilting museum in the state of Florida. Twice a year quilters organize a Quilt Show for local quilters to exhibit their work at the museum. The museum is open throughout the year and the collection contains unique items like a quilt made from the ties of two former Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Open on Tuesday - Saturday, the museum is free to enter and is located just off of Highway Alt 27 on CR134.[8]

Chief Theatre, home to the Suwannee Valley Players, is located off of Main Street and E, Park Avenue in downtown Chiefland. The theatre was built in 1948 as a movie theater till 1984. In 1998, the building was purchased and reopened as a Playhouse due to a historic preservation grant.[9] The Suwannee Valley Players, the oldest community theater troupe in Levy and its adjacent counties, has performed at Chief Theatre for over 37 years. The local theater group presents a new play around every 3 months, these plays include well known titles such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Into the Woods to original plays written by local writers.[10]

Commerce[edit]

Chiefland is located in the northwest corner of the county, where Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties adjoin (known as the "Tri-County area"). As growth in north Florida increased during the last quarter of the twentieth century, Chiefland became a local center for shopping. A 202,000 sq ft (18,800 m2) Walmart Supercenter was opened in 1995, and increased traffic along US 19/98 support a variety of national fast food franchises plus Best Western and Days Inn motels. Georgia-Pacific was a large employer, operating a mill in Chiefland from 1955 to 1978. Agriculture is still a major factor in the local economy, but there has been a big shift to a service economy. There are three incarceration facilities in the area: Cross City Correctional Institution & Work Camp; Lancaster Correctional Institution & Work Camp; and Levy Forestry Camp. They provide a total of over 800 jobs.[11]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930421
194057235.9%
195084347.4%
19601,45973.1%
19701,96534.7%
19801,9861.1%
19901,917−3.5%
20001,9934.0%
20102,24512.6%
2019 (est.)2,186[2]−2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,993 people, 796 households, and 511 families residing in the city. The population density was 509.5 inhabitants per square mile (196.8/km2). There were 931 housing units at an average density of 238.0 per square mile (91.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.36% White, 34.27% African American, 0.65% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.

There were 796 households, out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 23.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $17,331, and the median income for a family was $23,750. Males had a median income of $25,000 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,676. About 33.3% of families and 36.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.0% of those under age 18 and 24.4% of those aged 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Chiefland has two public schools: Chiefland Middle High School, and Chiefland Elementary. The School Board of Levy County controls their operation and also supervises two charter schools: Nature Coast Middle School and Whispering Winds. Other schools under the board's jurisdiction are in the town of Bronson, the city of Williston, the city of Cedar Key, and Yankeetown.

The College of Central Florida has plans for a $12 million permanent facility on 35 acres (14 ha) of donated land by the Mann family. The location is 5 miles (8 km) north of the city. The college currently operates the Levy Center in downtown Chiefland. The new location has been designated the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus in honor of the former high school math teacher's donation of $2.5 million to the campus.

Library[edit]

Levy County provides Chiefland with a local public library. The Luther Callaway Public Library is a depository library that receives publications from the State of Florida for public use.[13] The library was dedicated in 1985 to Luther Callaway who was postmaster for almost 30 years and a school teacher.[14] In November 2019, two vacant parcels of land were donated by Luther Callaway's family in hopes of expanding the library facilities.[15] The library is also supported by the "Friends of the Luther Callaway Public Library (FLCPL) Board of Directors group. FLCPL supports the library through fundraising efforts in order to support library programs and resources.[16]

Geography[edit]

Chiefland is located at 29°28′54″N 82°51′44″W / 29.48167°N 82.86222°W / 29.48167; -82.86222 (29.481801, -82.862097).[17]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.1 square miles (42 km2), all land.[5]

Chiefland is at the junction of U.S. Highways Alternate 27, 19, and 98. US 129 was converted into a separate junction in the early 21st century. It is 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Gainesville.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Chiefland, Florida (Usher Tower), 1991-2020 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 66.4
(19.1)
69.7
(20.9)
74.9
(23.8)
80.3
(26.8)
86.1
(30.1)
88.7
(31.5)
89.4
(31.9)
89.0
(31.7)
86.9
(30.5)
81.4
(27.4)
73.6
(23.1)
68.2
(20.1)
79.6
(26.4)
Daily mean °F (°C) 55.3
(12.9)
58.5
(14.7)
63.0
(17.2)
68.4
(20.2)
74.5
(23.6)
79.3
(26.3)
80.7
(27.1)
80.8
(27.1)
78.5
(25.8)
71.5
(21.9)
62.7
(17.1)
57.4
(14.1)
69.2
(20.7)
Average low °F (°C) 44.1
(6.7)
47.2
(8.4)
51.0
(10.6)
56.6
(13.7)
62.9
(17.2)
69.9
(21.1)
72.0
(22.2)
72.5
(22.5)
70.2
(21.2)
61.7
(16.5)
51.8
(11.0)
46.7
(8.2)
58.9
(14.9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.61
(92)
3.25
(83)
3.81
(97)
2.97
(75)
2.78
(71)
8.03
(204)
8.32
(211)
9.87
(251)
5.82
(148)
3.17
(81)
2.22
(56)
3.25
(83)
57.10
(1,450)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.2 7.0 6.9 5.1 6.2 13.3 15.8 16.1 10.4 6.3 5.1 6.0 105.4
Source: NOAA[18][19]

Healthcare[edit]

The State of Florida has approved a 28-bed hospital in Chiefland to serve the needs of western Levy County, Dixie County, and Gilchrist County. The Suwannee Valley Community Hospital is expected to cost $27 million, and Ameris Health Systems is leading the effort. The first drawing of the facility was rendered in March 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Chiefland city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  6. ^ Steelman, John R. (1928). A Study of Mob Action in the South (PhD). University of North Carolina. p. 268.
  7. ^ "Things to do around Chiefland". Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce. 2021.
  8. ^ Museum, Levy County Quilt. "Welcome to Levy County Quilt Museum". Levy County Quilt Museum. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  9. ^ Staff, WCJB. "Chief Theatre in need of donations to remain open". www.wcjb.com. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  10. ^ "Chief Theatre: Home of the Suwannee Valley Players Community Theatre". www.chieftheatre.org. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  11. ^ Florida Department of Corrections website: Region II & III facilities Archived June 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Florida Department of State". Division of Library and Information Services. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  14. ^ Carolyn Cohens Levy County, Arcadia Publishing, 2009.
  15. ^ "Chiefland City Attorney Assigned to Draft Revised Noise Ordinance; Land Donated for Library Expansion – Spotlight". Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  16. ^ "Friends of the Chiefland library board to meet". Chiefland Citizen. October 9, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  18. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 24, 2021.

External links[edit]