Historic Alachua County Courthouse - From the Jared Anton Collection.

     Alachua is one of Florida’s older counties, dating to territorial times (1824). The name is of even older origin. Allen Morris reports that it is Creek for "jug" or "sinkhole," in keeping with the area’s unique geology featuring numerous large sinkholes and caves The original Alachua County Courthouse, built in 1854. Picture from the 8th Judicial Circuit website.including the famous "Devil’s Millhopper." The Alachua sink was in the vicinity of Payne’s Prairie, a vast open expanse south of Gainesville. In antebellum times this prairie was covered with water and plied by steamboats, but it drained when the sinkhole opened.
      Among the earlier settlements in Alachua County was "Hog Town," which grew up in the early 1800's around a trading post. When Senator David Levy Yulee constructed a railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key, Hog Town residents felt a more euphonious name was in order and eventually decided upon Gainesville in honor of General Edmund P. Gaines, a veteran of the Seminole wars. In 1853 Gainesville replaced Newnansville as the county seat. Until 1828 residents had attended superior court in St. Augustine, St. Johns County. Thereafter, Newnansville served as headquarters not only for Alachua but for several surrounding counties as well. Until boundaries were readjusted, Newnansville was briefly located in Columbia County.
     Historic Alachua County Courthouse (Richard Reddick Collection)The Gainesville courthouse shown here is the second of four. It was built in 1885 and demolished in 1958. Among the more celebrated trials to have occurred here was a
The new Alachua County Courthouse (Keith Vincent Collection) suit for invasion of privacy filed in 1943 against Cross Creek author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who had written an unflattering description of the local census taker. Professor Patricia Acton has written a delightful The current Alachua County Courthouse under construction.  (Photo from the Florida Archives)account of this "warfare of pleadings" and the spirited hearings that followed. The current courthouse was constructed in 1975.
Click on the Thumbnails below for more Pictures.
A celebration in front of the Alachua County Courthouse. (Florida Archives Collection) A lovely postcard of the Alachua County Courthouse. From the Florida Archives, The Gainesville Bicycle Club in front of the Alachua County Courthouse.
Postcard of the Alachua County Courthouse (Florida Archives Collection) An early view of the historic Alachua Courthouse (Florida Archives Collection) The current Alachua County Courthouse (Jared Anton Collection)
Alachua County Courthouse (Circa 1923) Alachua County Courthouse. (Keith Vincent Collection.) The back view of the Alachua County Courthouse postcard. (Keith Vincent Collection)

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Updated 12/07/2008