The Everglades, one of Florida's most iconic natural landmarks, was not always a protected area. In fact, it was once considered a worthless swamp and was drained and developed for agricultural purposes in the early 20th century.
Levy County, located in the northern part of Florida, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The region was once inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Timucua and Seminole, who lived off the land and fished in the waterways. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, claiming the area for Spain and establishing trade routes.

In the early 19th century, after Florida became a U.S. territory, settlers began to move into Levy County. The construction of the Old Military Road in 1825 helped facilitate this migration by creating easier access to the area. The first permanent settlement was established in Cedar Key, a bustling port town that became a major hub for the fishing and lumber industries.

During the Civil War, Levy County saw its fair share of conflict. The county was sympathetic to the Confederacy, and many local men joined the Confederate Army, while some residents supported the Union. The conflict resulted in looting, burning, and destruction of property in the area. After the war, recovery was slow, but the region began to rebuild and thrive once again.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Levy County experienced infrastructural improvements and economic growth. The completion of major highways, such as U.S. Route 19 and Interstate 75, opened up the county to more tourism and commerce. Today, Levy County is known for its natural beauty, with attractions such as the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and the Cedar Key Museum State Park drawing visitors from all over.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Levy County, Florida.

  • 1824 - Levy County is established as a county in the Florida Territory.
  • 1845 - Florida becomes a state, and Levy County remains part of it.
  • 1855 - Cedar Key becomes the county seat of Levy County.
  • 1861-1865 - Levy County is heavily affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1867 - The county seat is moved from Cedar Key to Bronson.
  • 1884 - The railroad reaches Levy County, bringing economic growth and new opportunities.
  • 1925 - A devastating hurricane hits Cedar Key, causing significant damage to the area.
  • 1932 - The town of Cedar Key is severely impacted by the Great Depression.
  • 1933 - The Works Progress Administration (WPA) starts several infrastructure projects in Levy County.
  • 1983 - The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is established in Levy County.
  • Present - Levy County continues to thrive, attracting visitors with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.