Florida is home to the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States, St. Augustine, which was founded by the Spanish in 1565.
Baker County, FL is located in northeastern Florida and has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by Native American people, particularly the Timucua tribe, who relied on hunting and gathering for sustenance. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, but permanent settlement did not occur until the 19th century.

The county was established in 1861 and named after James McNair Baker, a Confederate Senator from Florida. During the Civil War, Baker County remained loyal to the Confederacy and experienced a shift in its economy as plantations and farms were left abandoned due to the absence of enslaved labor. Following the war, the county struggled to rebuild its agricultural industry.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of vast deposits of phosphate in the region gave rise to a new economic boom. Phosphate mining became a major industry, attracting workers and increasing the county's population. The mining operations had a lasting impact on the environment, leading to efforts to restore the land in later years.

Throughout the 20th century, Baker County's economy diversified, with agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing playing important roles. The county has also become known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, and camping, drawing visitors from across the state of Florida. Today, Baker County continues to preserve and celebrate its history while embracing growth and development in a changing world.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Baker County, Florida.

  • 1824 - Baker County is established as a separate county from Nassau County.
  • 1856 - The county seat is moved from Sandersonville to the newly established town of Macclenny.
  • 1861-1865 - Baker County residents participate in the American Civil War, with some serving in Confederate military units.
  • 1886 - The first railroad, the Florida Railway and Navigation Company, is completed in Baker County.
  • 1942-1945 - Camp Blanding, a World War II training facility, is constructed near the county line, bringing economic growth to the area.
  • 1947 - The Veterans Administration Hospital opens in Lake City, providing healthcare services to Baker County residents.
  • 1998 - Baker County Heritage Park is established, preserving historical buildings and artifacts.
  • 2002 - The county experiences rapid population growth and begins to address the challenges of urbanization.