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Micanopy, Florida

Coordinates: 29°30′23″N 82°16′55″W / 29.50639°N 82.28194°W / 29.50639; -82.28194
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Micanopy, Florida
Micanopy Town Hall and Library
Micanopy Town Hall and Library
"The Town that Time Forgot"
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; -82.28194
 • TypeMayor-Commission
 • MayorJiana Williams
 • Mayor Pro TemJudy Galloway
 • CommissionersGinny Mance,
Kevin Putansu, and
Ken Wessberg
 • Town Administrator and Town ClerkSara Owen
 • Town AttorneyAndrea Parker
38 m (125 ft)
 • Total648
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code352
FIPS code12-45225[3]
GNIS feature ID0286767[4]

Micanopy (/ˌmɪkəˈnpi/ MIK-ə-NOH-pee) is a town in Alachua County, Florida, United States, located south of Gainesville. It is part of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population as of the 2020 census was 648, up from 600 at the 2010 census.

It is the oldest community in the interior of Florida that has been continually inhabited. Its downtown area is designated as the Micanopy Historic District, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This municipality contains a number of antique stores, as well as several restaurants, a library, firehouse, and post office. Its unofficial slogan is "The Town that Time Forgot."


A historical marker in the area notes that Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto recorded finding a village of the Timucua portion of the Potano tribe located near by in 1539.[5] In 1774, the American naturalist William Bartram recorded his impressions of a proto-Seminole village named "Cuscowilla".[6]

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 early settlers of the area was Moses Elias Levy, a wealthy Jewish businessman and philanthropist who was involved in West Indies shipping and other interests. He immigrated to the United States in 1820 and founded "Pilgrimage", the first Jewish communal settlement in the United States located two miles from town.[1]

The village of Micanopy was built under the auspices of the Florida Association of New York (the earliest Florida development corporation, headquartered in Manhattan).[1] 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."[1] In the early days, the frontier village was sometimes referred to as "Wantons", after one of the original settlers.[7]

One of the several unpaved streets in Micanopy

Both Fort Defiance (1835–1836) and Fort Micanopy (1837–1843) were located here during the Second Seminole War.[6] 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.[8] 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). Also, the Town of Micanopy was officially incorporated as a municipality in 1837.[2]

The oldest home in Micanopy that was built by Black people for Black people; now sits abandoned

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.[9] 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.[10]


The approximate coordinates for the Town of Micanopy is located at 29°30′28.95″N 82°16′50.48″W / 29.5080417°N 82.2806889°W / 29.5080417; -82.2806889.

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.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, the Town of Micanopy has a humid subtropical climate zone (Cfa).


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2010 and 2020 census[edit]

Micanopy racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 435 474 72.50% 73.15%
Black or African American (NH) 133 100 22.17% 15.43%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 4 1 0.67% 0.15%
Asian (NH) 1 3 0.17% 0.46%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 0 0 0.00% 0.00%
Some other race (NH) 0 4 0.00% 0.62%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 10 36 1.67% 5.56%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 17 30 2.83% 4.63%
Total 600 648

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 648 people, 201 households, and 111 families residing in the town.[14]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 600 people, 358 households, and 205 families residing in the town.[15]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census 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 (243.8/km2). There were 346 housing units at an average density of 334.6 per square mile (129.2/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.

In 2000, 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 2000, 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.

In 2000, 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.

Arts and culture[edit]

Micanopy Historic District

Micanopy hosts an annual autumn art festival, in which both local and non-local artists participate.

Micanopy Historical Society Museum, housed downtown in the Thrasher Warehouse, features displays of local and town history that range from the early Native Americans, to naturalist William Bartram’s travels in the region, to the Seminole Wars and the Civil War. Built in 1896, the warehouse was served by a branch of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad until the 1950s and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The Alachua County Library District operates a branch library in the town.[16]

The downtown Micanopy Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[6]


Micanopy is served by the School Board of Alachua County. The School Board charters two schools,[17] the Micanopy Area Cooperative School (elementary),[18] and Micanopy Academy (secondary).[19]


Herlong House, a Bed & Breakfast

Micanopy is mentioned in the Tom Petty song "A Mind with a Heart of Its Own" from the album Full Moon Fever. Petty humorously 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]

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

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d C. S. Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005), 9
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Alachua - Preservation - Florida Division of Historical Resources". Florida Historical Markers Programs. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "National Register of Historic Places Inventory -- Nomination Form" (PDF). National Park Service. September 28, 1983. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  7. ^ "Micanopy Historical Marker". www.hmdb.org. Archived from the original on December 1, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  8. ^ Monaco, C. S. (2012). "Alachua Settlers and the Second Seminole War". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 91 (1): 1–32. ISSN 0015-4113. JSTOR 23264821.
  9. ^ Watkins, Caroline (April 1975). "Some Early Railroads in Alachua County". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 53 (4): 452–453, 456. JSTOR 30150300.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Micanopy town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Micanopy town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Micanopy town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Micanopy town, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  16. ^ Alachua County Library District: Micanopy
  17. ^ Alachua County Public Schools: Schools and Centers Archived December 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Contact MACS." Micanopy Area Cooperative School. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. "Address 802 NW Seminary St., Micanopy, FL 32667"
  19. ^ Home. Micanopy Academy. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. "708 NW Okehumkee St. Micanopy, FL 32667"
  20. ^ Johnanderson.com
  21. ^ IdeCorrespondent, Lora E. "Residents recall the fun of filming 'Doc Hollywood'". Ocala.com. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  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. ^ Eisenman, Stephen F. (August 19, 2022). "Conversations with White People". CounterPunch.org. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  24. ^ C. S. Monaco, Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005

External links[edit]