Historic Citrus County Courthouse
Location in Citrus County and the state of Florida
|• Total||7.7 sq mi (19.9 km2)|
|• Land||7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||49 ft (15 m)|
|• Density||948/sq mi (366.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0284579|
Inverness is a city in Citrus County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,210. It is the county seat of Citrus County and is home to the Citrus County Courthouse and near the 10,950-acre (4,430 ha) Flying Eagle Preserve.
Inverness is located in eastern Citrus County, on the western shore of the connected Tsala Apopka and Henderson lakes. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.7 square miles (19.9 km2), of which 7.6 square miles (19.7 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.01%, is water. Within the city are 330 acres (130 ha) of land reserved for passive and active park usage.
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The city of Inverness was originally named "Tompkinsville". Settlement of the area dates back to 1868. A. D. Tompkins, later known as "Uncle Alf", started the community. To attract newcomers to the town, he established mail service and helped erect the first sawmill in the county. He gave his brother-in-law, Frank M. Dampier, Sr., a lot to build a store, with Dampier becoming the first merchant in town. Dampier is credited with laying out the town and naming it Tompkinsville.
Not many years later, the town of Tompkinsville was sold to a firm in Jacksonville, and the name was changed to "Inverness". According to the late historian Mary McRae of Homosassa, Inverness got its name from a lonely Scotsman, far away from his home, who gazed upon the blue waters of the Native American-named Tsala Apopka Lake and thought the area looked like the headlands and lochs of Inverness in Scotland. Inver is a Gaelic word meaning "mouth of the river", and through the Scottish city flows the River Ness, originating from Loch Ness. Since the Florida city lies at the foot of one of the chain of lakes in Citrus County, Inverness seemed an appropriate name. Per official city documentation, Inverness was incorporated on March 6, 1919.
Over twelve downtown buildings have been recognized by the historic plaque program and are presently active places for business. Central Business Development grants have helped to retain the historic character of the city. In 1961 the historic courthouse downtown was used to film the courtroom scene of "Follow That Dream" featuring Elvis Presley.
The city has been designated a "Gateway Community" by the Florida Trail Association. Since 1995, Inverness has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the US Forest Service. In 2009, Inverness was named "City of the Year" by the Forty and Eight, a national veterans' organization.
The last full weekend in October is reserved for the Great American Cooterfestival, named after the Florida cooter turtle. A family-focused event of music, games, crafts and more is held at the adjoining Liberty and Wallace Brooks parks on Lake Henderson.
Since 1971 the first weekend in November marks the Festival of the Arts, a juried fine art show that has grown to include over 100 artists.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,789 people, 3,190 households, and 1,805 families residing in the city. The population density was 931.7 people per square mile (359.6/km²). There were 3,635 housing units at an average density of 498.9 per square mile (192.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.83% White (non-Hispanic), 5.20% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.42% of the population.
As of the census of 2010, the racial makeup of the city was 92.93% White (non-Hispanic), 4.10% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 1.46% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.05% of the population.
There were 3,190 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 38.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.99 and the average family size was 2.60.
In the city the population was spread out with 16.6% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 19.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 38.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 55 years. For every 100 females there were 76.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,604, and the median income for a family was $35,342. Males had a median income of $27,255 versus $21,052 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,211. About 9.6% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
Transportation and recreation
U.S. Route 41 is the main north-south road through Inverness, leading north 17 miles (27 km) to Dunnellon and south 21 miles (34 km) to Brooksville. The main east-west road is State Road 44, leading west 17 miles (27 km) to Crystal River and east 15 miles (24 km) to Interstate 75 near Wildwood. The two roads join to form Inverness' Main Street from Talmage Avenue to Highland Boulevard. Other county roads include County Road 581 and County Road 470.
Inverness is home to the Lakes Region Library, which is part of the Citrus County Library System. The library offers several recreational classes such as Tai Chi, painting, gardening, basic technology usage, children and teen programs, and more. Times and services are listed on the library's website.
The Withlacoochee State Trail, which replaced a former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad line, runs between two of the chained lakes, with small bridges replacing former railroad trestle crossings. The trail offers access to 46 continuous miles of enjoyment for biking, jogging and walking. The Inverness trailhead can be found on North Apopka Avenue (CR 470) across from the trail crossing and Liberty Park.
Other parks in Inverness include Wallace Brooks Park, Whispering Pines Park, the Henderson Lake boat ramps, and Fort Cooper State Park, just south of the city. Inverness is also close to Withlapopka Community Park, the almost 11,000-acre (4,500 ha) Flying Eagle Preserve and the almost 5,000-acre (2,000 ha) McGregor Smith Scout Reservation.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Inverness city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Dunn, Hampton (1976). Back Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida. p. 67.
- Dunn, Hampton (1976). Back Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida. p. 68.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Dunn, Hampton. Back Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida. Inverness, FL, 1976
- Rooks, Justine. "Remember When." Citrus County Chronicle, August 1, 1998.
Media related to Inverness, Florida at Wikimedia Commons