Lake City, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Lake City
other_name =
native_name =
nickname =
settlement_type = City
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption = Columbia County courthouse in Lake City

flag_size =

seal_size = 200px
image_shield =
shield_size =
image_blank_emblem =
blank_emblem_type =
blank_emblem_size =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Columbia County and the state of Florida

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

dot_mapsize =
dot_map_caption =
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dot_y =

pushpin_label_position =
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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Florida
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = noflag|Columbia
subdivision_type3 =
subdivision_name3 =
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type = Council-Manager
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Stephen M. Witt
leader_title1 = City Manager
leader_name1 = Scott Reynolds (acting)
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1830
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
established_title3 = Incorporated
established_date3 = 1859
area_magnitude =
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes = cite web |url= |title=Florida by place Population, Housing Units, Area and Density:2000 |publisher=US Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-08-10] 1
area_total_km2 = 28.7
area_land_km2 = 27.4
area_water_km2 = 1.3
area_total_sq_mi = 11.1
area_land_sq_mi = 10.6
area_water_sq_mi = .5
area_water_percent = 4.69
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_blank1_title =
area_blank1_km2 =
area_blank1_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 1 July 2006
population_footnotes = cite web |url= |title=Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida |publisher=US Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-08-10 |format=XLS] 2
population_note = 2006 Estimates
population_total = 11953
population_density_km2 = 364.8
population_density_sq_mi = 944.8
population_metro = 67007
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban =
population_density_urban_km2 =
population_density_urban_sq_mi =
population_blank1_title =
population_blank1 =
population_density_blank1_km2 =
population_density_blank1_sq_mi =
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 30 |latm = 11 |lats = 23 |latNS = N
longd = 82 |longm = 38 |longs = 23 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes = 3
elevation_m = 59
elevation_ft = 194
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 32024-32025, 32055-32056
area_code = 386
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 12-37775GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0305917GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Lake City is the county seat of Columbia County, GR|6 Florida, in the United States. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 11,953. In addition, it is the Principal City of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had an estimated 2006 population of 67,007.cite web |url= |title=Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 |publisher=U.S. Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-08-10|format=XLS] The city's Susquecentennial will occur in 2009, and a celebration is planned.


The site of Lake City was a Seminole village named Alpata Telophka, meaning "Alligator Town". By 1830, a white American town called Alligator was established, adjacent to the Seminole town. The city was incorporated and changed to its current name in 1859. The name was changed because the mayor's wife, who had recently moved to the town, refused to hang her lace curtains in a town named Alligator.

The American Civil War Battle of Olustee took place near Lake City in February of 1864. It was the only major battle in Florida during the war. Union casualties were 1,861 men killed, wounded or missing; Confererate losses were 946 killed, wounded or missing.

In 1880, Lake City Chief of Police, Gottschalk “Gus” Potsdamer had a heated dispute with Columbia County Sheriff, John C. Henry. The conflict escalated into a fistfight and Henry was fatally wounded by Potsdamer, who was tried for murder, convicted and sentenced to life in prison at the state prison near Live Oak. [ [ Lake City Reporter: February 24, 2007-Live Oak's prison known as ‘The American Siberia'] ] Potsdamer's conviction was controversial, with some reports stating that Sheriff Henry started the trouble and was beating Potsdamer over the head with a pistol when Potsdamer got loose and killed him. Potsdamer was very popular and had a reputation as a City Marshall who always enforced the law fairly. Potsdamer's friends appealed the conviction through the legal system, won, and Potsdamer was released after two months of incarceration. He eventually moved to Live Oak, became a respected businessman, and was elected Suwannee County Sheriff in 1889. [Forgotten Heroes: Police Officers Killed in Early Florida, 1840-1925 by William Wilbanks - 1996 - 224 pages]

By the early 20th century, Lake City had become an important railroad junction, served by the Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Georgia Southern, and the Florida Railroad.

The population in 1950 was 7,467 people and forestry (turpentine, lumber, pulpwood) had become important to the local economy.

Lake City's Centennial was celebrated in 1959 with parades, fireworks and a 58-page book documenting one hundred years of progress, “A Century in the Sun”. Townspeople were expected to dress in old-time clothing, women wore bonnets and men were expected to grow whiskers as part of the celebration. A good-natured clash arose between the men with additional facial hair and the women who did not like it. The women made protest placards that read: “Off with the beards,” “Ow, they stick,” and “The men about town used to look so fine — but now they look like a porcupine.” [ [ Lake City Reporter: March 8, 2008-Lake City’s 150th birthday — time for a celebration by Morris Williams] ]

In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed. This was a group of amateur radio operators that enjoyed the ability to communicate all over the world. This radio club still exists today. [ [ In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed.] ]


Lake City is located at coor dms|30|11|23|N|82|38|23|W (30.189640, -82.639654)GR|1. Lake City is near the intersection of Interstate highways I-10 and I-75. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 mi² (28.7 km²). convert|10.6|sqmi|km2|0 of it is land and convert|.5|sqmi|km2|0 of it is water. The total area is 4.69% water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there are 9,980 people, 4,043 households, and 2,429 families residing in the city. The population density is 944.8/sq mi (364.9/km²). There are 4,536 housing units at an average density of 429.4/sq mi (165.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 59.32% White, 37.46% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.82% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 4,043 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% are married couples living together, 20.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% are non-families. 33.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.34 and the average family size is 3.01.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $26,161, and the median income for a family is $31,920. Males have a median income of $27,369 versus $21,290 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,697. 20.5% of the population and 16.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 27.8% of those under the age of 18 and 16.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Lake City and Columbia County, Florida are known as "The Gateway to Florida" because Interstate 75 runs though them, carrying a large percentage of Florida's tourist and commercial traffic. Lake City is the northernmost sizable town/city in Florida on Interstate 75 and the location where I-10 and I-75 intersect. Interstate 10 is the southernmost east-west interstate highway and traverses the country from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California.

Agricultural products of the area include tobacco, corn, peanuts, cotton, melons, timber and pulpwood.

Lake City is the location of the Osceola National Forest's administrative offices.

The Lake City Municipal Airport is a local center of business. The airport is classified as a General Aviation facility, but two on-site operations are somewhat unique. TIMCO is an aircraft modification and rehabilitation operation for large (B-727, 737) civilian and military aircraft. The United States Forest Service uses C-130 transport aircraft in support of its forest fire-fighting operations in the southeast US.

The top employers in Lake City are: [ [ City of Lake City website] ]


Olustee Battle Festival

Every February since 1976, Lake City has hosted the Olustee Battle Festival & Re-Enactment. The 31st Annual event will be February 13th & 14th, 2009. [ [ Olustee Battle Festival website] ] The Miss Olustee Pageant is held two weeks prior to the Battle Festival. Highlights include:
* Memorial service at Oak Lawn Cemetery: to honor those who died from both sides (Friday morning)
* Olustee Festival & Craft Show: Arts, Crafts, Foods, Exhibits, & two stages with continuous live entertainment Friday and Saturday.
* Battle of the Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimac: Friday night on Lake DeSoto.
* Dancing: Friday night-Trails End Dance; Saturday afternoon-Street Dance; Saturday night-Blue-Grey Square Dance
* Running Races: Blue-Grey 5-K and 1 Mile Kids Fun Run early Saturday morning
* Olustee Festival Parade: Saturday mid-morning
* Olustee Battle Reenactment: Hundreds of re-enactors come from all over the country to participate in this historical event
* Columbia County Historical Museum: "Angels of Mercy" drama Friday afternoon; museum open all weekend
* Olustee Battlefield State Park: open 9am-6pm all weekend

Alligator fest

Lake City holds its Alligator Fest in mid-October, which returns to a time when the "Alligator" area was young and Seminole Indian braves roamed freely over the lush valleys and hills surrounding their village, Alligator Town. The chief of the village was the regal Indian diplomat, Halpatter Tustennuggee, informally referred to as Chief Alligator. The Native American Living History Village will take you back to Lake City’s inception, almost two centuries ago. Demonstrations will be presented, cultural arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased, along with food of the period. Indian dances, ceremonies, wild life demonstrations, and artifact exhibits are available for viewing. Wagon and pony rides, in addition to canoe rides on Lake DeSoto will be available throughout the festival. Native Americans will present programs on native dance, music, life skills and storytelling. Live alligator and cougar shows and a panther presentation are a part of the program.

"Normal" recreational facilities

9 Soccer Fields -- 26 Ball Fields –- 7 Tennis Courts –- 8 Raquet Ball Courts –- 1 Skating Rink –- 2 Golf Course –- 4 Local Parks –- 1 Bowling Alley –- 6 screen Movie Theater –- 1 Public Swimming Pool –- 1 YMCA –- 1 Amateur Theatre –- 3 State Parks –- 2 Auto Racing Tracks –- 2 Country Clubs -- Hunting - Fishing -- Water Sports

Notable natives

*Pat Summerall - National Football League placekicker / television sportscaster
*Gerard Warren - National Football League defensive tackle
*Jasin Todd - former Shinedown guitarist
*Jerome Carter - National Football League safety
*Martha Mier - Pianist and Composer


External links

* [ City of Lake City] Official Site
* [ Lake City Weather dot Com] LIVE Weather Conditions here in Lake City
* [ Lake City Journal community news online]
* [ Columbia Amateur Radio Society] Established in 1958 and all are still welcome to join!
* [ Suwannee Online] Suwannee Area
* [ Lake City Online]
* [ Lake City Reporter newspaper]
* [ Lake City Community Example] - Lake City Community
* [ "Florida Index,"] historical newspaper for Lake City, Florida fully and openly available in the [ Florida Digital Newspaper Library]
* [ Lake City is home of Be On The Look Out For Corporation]

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