Old Town, Florida

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The center of the City of Old Town today is about 4 miles west of the Suwannee River on Highway 19 but the area currently known as Old Town could have been anywhere within the area in old times. When you drive through the area today you won't actually see much population but it is there, just that the area is very wooded, being part of the "Old Town Hammock", a very heavily wooded area, mostly large oak trees. The Old Town area in Dixie County is very likely one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Indian settlement in Florida.

Florida bounced back and forth several times between the French, Spanish and British hands till it ended up in British hands in 1780. In 1783 Florida was ceded to Spain and by 1795 was again in British hands. It was claimed by the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In April of 1818, General Andrew Jackson led the largest army ever to invade Florida, to the Old Town area to push the Indians south of the Suwannee River. He met the Seminoles at Fort Fannin. just across the Suwannee river, in what is known as the "Battle of Old Town." Bowlegs and his warriors bitterly resisted Jackson but to no avail. The defeat of the Seminoles at this battle somewhat broke their fighting spirit and power. Jackson then pursued Billy Bowlegs through the swamps and eventually met him in battle again in the cabbage swamps of Dixie County, at Bowlegs Point, now Jena. Bowlegs and his depleted forces were captured at the southern end of Big Rocky creek. This campaign ended the Indian wars in this part of Florida. The area round Big Rocky creek associated with the story that pirate gold was buried there.

Among the boats traveling up and down the Suwannee River that played a part in the commerce of Dixie County in the late 1800s and early 1900s were the "City of Hawkinsville," the "City of Jacksonville," and the "Belle of the Suwannee." The remains of the "City of Hawkinsville", sunk in 1922, is submerged below the Old Suwannee River Railroad Bridge at Old Town.

As you can see, this part of Florida was very important in the early history of the United States.

Website: www.dixiecounty.org

GPS Coordinates

1) Old Town
29.601, -82.981

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