The first European to explore Florida was actually a Spanish sailor named Juan Ponce de León in 1513, not the more well-known Christopher Columbus.
Taylor County, FL has a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. The area was home to Native American tribes, primarily the Apalachee and Timucua peoples, who lived off the land and utilized natural resources to sustain their communities. European contact began in the 16th century with Spanish explorers, who established missions in the region.

The first permanent European settlement in what is now Taylor County was founded in the early 19th century by American pioneers. The county was named after General Zachary Taylor, who later became the 12th President of the United States. In the mid-1800s, the discovery of large salt deposits helped Taylor County grow and prosper. Salt production became a major industry, attracting settlers and creating a demand for new infrastructure.

The timber industry played a significant role in the county's development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Taylor County boasted vast expanses of pine forests, attracting lumber companies that established sawmills and logging operations. The timber industry brought economic growth and employment opportunities to the area, as well as significant environmental changes due to deforestation.

Today, Taylor County is primarily known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The county is home to the extensive Big Bend coastline, which offers excellent fishing, boating, and beachcombing opportunities. It also hosts multiple wildlife management areas and state parks, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Taylor County continues to honor its history while looking toward a future focused on sustainable development and preserving its natural resources.

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

  • 1825 – Taylor County is created as an original county of the Florida Territory.
  • 1839 – The county seat is established in Perry.
  • 1860s – Taylor County experiences significant growth due to the timber and turpentine industries.
  • 1887 – The Florida Railway and Navigation Company reaches Perry, boosting economic development.
  • 1890 – Perry becomes the hub for phosphate mining activities in Florida.
  • 1915 – The Buckeye Cellulose Corporation establishes a paper mill in Perry, leading to increased industrialization.
  • 1920s – Taylor County becomes an important center for the naval stores industry.
  • 1950s – The establishment of the Perry Air Force Base brings further economic prosperity to the county.
  • 1971 – The Perry Air Force Base is deactivated, impacting the local economy.
  • Late 20th century – Taylor County focuses on diversifying its economy with the growth of tourism and agriculture.