Micanopy, Florida

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Micanopy, Florida
Micanopy commercial district
Micanopy commercial district
Location in Alachua County and the state of Florida
Location in Alachua County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 29°30′23″N 82°16′55″W / 29.50639°N 82.28194°W / 29.50639; -82.28194Coordinates: 29°30′23″N 82°16′55″W / 29.50639°N 82.28194°W / 29.50639; -82.28194
Country United States
State Florida
County Alachua
 • Total1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)
 • Land1.04 sq mi (2.68 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
125 ft (38 m)
 • Total600
 • Estimate 
 • Density612.34/sq mi (236.52/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)352
FIPS code12-45225[3]
GNIS feature ID0286767[4]

Micanopy (/ˌmɪkəˈnpi/ (About this soundlisten) MIK-ə-NOH-pee) is a town in Alachua County, Florida, United States, located south of Gainesville. The population as of the 2010 census was 600.[5] The oldest community in the interior of Florida that has been continually inhabited,[6] it has a downtown that is designated as a historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It contains a number of antique stores, as well as several restaurants. It is also known for being the filming location of the 1991 romantic comedy, Doc Hollywood.

The town's slogan is "The Town that Time Forgot".[6]


In 1539 Spanish conquistador and explorer Hernando De Soto noted a Timucuan Indian village here. Over two hundred years later, the American naturalist William Bartram recorded his impressions of a proto-Seminole village named Cuscowilla in this same locale.

By the time Spain ceded its Florida provinces to the U.S. in 1821, the newly constructed hamlet of Micanopy became the first distinct United States town in the Florida Territory. One of the founders was Moses Elias Levy, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist who was involved in West Indies shipping and other interests. He immigrated to the United States in 1820.[7]

Named after a Seminole chief, the village of Micanopy was built under the auspices of the Florida Association of New York (the earliest Florida development corporation, headquartered in Manhattan).[8] Chief Micanopy lived about 60 miles (97 km) south in present-day Sumter County. In 1821 when the territorial village was developed, a faction of Miccosukee Indians lived in the immediate area. The historian C. S. Monaco has suggested that the town was named after Micanopy "to appease the chief and acknowledge his original authority over the land."[9]

Both Fort Defiance (1835–1836) and Fort Micanopy (1837–1843) were located here during the Second Seminole War. Some of the bloodiest battles of that war took place along the road southwest from Fort Micanopy to Fort Wacahoota, just inside modern Alachua County. A recent archaeological study has verified both forts as well as the location of two battlefields within the town limits: the Battle of Micanopy and the Battle of Welika Pond (1836).

Prior to the 1880s, produce from Micanopy, including citrus, was carried to the southern shore of Lake Alachua and taken by boat to the northern shore, which was served by branch lines from the Transit Railroad. In 1883 the Florida Southern Railway built a branch line to Micanopy from its line running from Rochelle (southeast of Gainesville) to Ocala. In 1895 a rail line was laid from Micanopy by the Gainesville and Gulf Railroad, and by 1889 reached to Irvine and Fairfield in Marion County, and Sampson City in Bradford County, where it connected to the Atlantic, Suwannee River and Gulf Railway and the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad.[10] The railroads spurred farming in the surrounding area. It had a population of over 600 in 1880. In the 1920s, cars crossed Paynes Prairie on the Micanopy Causeway.[11]

Describing driving route from High Springs to Orlando in 1947, the fifth printing of the Florida guide, published by the Federal Writers' Project, describes Micanopy as "a village of old brick and frame buildings ... surrounded by large oaks, lofty cabbage palms, and pecan groves. The first citrus trees of the route appear here, and the landscape assumes a more tropical aspect."[12]

Micanopy's downtown was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[11] The home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, where she wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek, is in nearby Cross Creek. The house is operated as a museum.


Micanopy is located at 29°30′23″N 82°16′55″W / 29.506489°N 82.282013°W / 29.506489; -82.282013.[13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), of which 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (4.63%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)635[2]5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 653 people, 302 households, and 172 families residing in the town. The population density was 631.4 inhabitants per square mile (244.8/km2). There were 346 housing units at an average density of 334.6 per square mile (129.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 68.30% White, 28.94% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.

There were 302 households, out of which 21.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.0% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 19.8% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,778, and the median income for a family was $38,611. Males had a median income of $30,938 versus $20,294 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,433. About 3.0% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.8% of those under age 18 and 21.3% of those age 65 or over.


Micanopy is served by the School Board of Alachua County. The School Board charters two schools,[15] the Micanopy Area Cooperative School (elementary),[16] and Micanopy Academy (secondary).[17]

The Alachua County Library District operates a branch library in the town.[18]


Micanopy hosts a large art festival every autumn. The festival features many artists, both local and distant. The festival brings in crowds much larger than the town's population from across Payne's Prairie in Gainesville and surrounding areas. The festival, which is set on the town’s main street, offers more than art. The event also offers kettle corn, honey, and many different varieties of food. Additionally, the festival features artwork, hand-crafted gifts, and handmade jewelry. The festival is dog friendly.[19]

Representation in other media[edit]

Micanopy is mentioned in the Tom Petty song "A Mind with a Heart of Its Own" from the album Full Moon Fever. Petty sings that he's "been to Brooker, been to Micanopy, been to St. Louis too, I've been all around the world!"

Micanopy is noted in the chorus of the John Anderson[20] song "Seminole Wind" from the album Seminole Wind. The song is covered by James Taylor on the album James Taylor Covers.

The film Doc Hollywood, based on the book What, Dead Again? by Neil B. Shulman and starring Michael J. Fox, was filmed in Micanopy.[21] The 1983 film Cross Creek, starring Mary Steenburgen, Peter Coyote, Rip Torn, and Malcolm McDowell, used downtown Micanopy as a setting (standing in for nearby Island Grove, Florida).[citation needed]

On September 27, 1975, the variety show Hee Haw saluted Micanopy.

Notable people[edit]

  • Archie Carr, zoologist and author, and his wife Marjorie Harris Carr, also a conservationist. They lived at Wewa Pond just outside Micanopy.[22]
  • John Horse, Black Seminole leader, lived here before the Seminole Wars and removal to Indian Territory
  • Moses Elias Levy, wealthy businessman and philanthropist, founded Pilgrimage and Micanopy[23]
  • River Phoenix, actor, cremated ashes scattered here at family ranch.


Micanopy Historic District[edit]

See also[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. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Micanopy town, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Brasch, Ben (2018-03-25). "Mother Anna unmasked". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2018-09-24. Historians say it's Florida's oldest continuously settled inland community. It's dubbed itself "The Town that Time Forgot."
  7. ^ C. S. Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005), 9
  8. ^ Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida, 103.
  9. ^ Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida, 108.
  10. ^ Watkins, Caroline (April 1975). "Some Early Railroads in Alachua County". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 53 (4): 452–453, 456. JSTOR 30150300.
  11. ^ a b Pickard, John B. (2001). Historic Alachua County and old Gainesville : a tour guide to the past. Gainesville, FL: Alachua Press. ISBN 978-0967278865. OCLC 50765140.
  12. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1947). Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 525.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ Alachua County Public Schools: Schools and Centers Archived 2011-12-17 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Contact MACS." Micanopy Area Cooperative School. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. "Address 802 NW Seminary St., Micanopy, FL 32667"
  17. ^ Home. Micanopy Academy. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. "708 NW Okehumkee St. Micanopy, FL 32667"
  18. ^ Alachua County Library District: Micanopy
  19. ^ http://americanroads.net/road_dog_winter2014.htm
  20. ^ Johnanderson.com
  21. ^ IdeCorrespondent, Lora E. "Residents recall the fun of filming 'Doc Hollywood'". Ocala.com. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  22. ^ Archie Carr, "Wewa Pond," in A Naturalist in Florida: A Celebration of Eden, ed. Marjorie Harris Carr (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1994), 1-13.
  23. ^ C. S. Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005

External links[edit]