Wakulla County, Florida

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wakulla County, Florida
Seal of Wakulla County, Florida
Map
Map of Florida highlighting Wakulla County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the USA highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 11 March 1843
Seat Crawfordville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

735.74 sq mi (1,906 km²)
606.66 sq mi (1,571 km²)
129.08 sq mi (334 km²), 17.54%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

30,776
51/sq mi (19.59/km²)
Website: www.mywakulla.com

Wakulla County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2000, 22,863 people lived there. The U.S. Census Bureau 2005 estimate for the county was 28,212 people.[1] Its county seat is Crawfordville.[2] Wakulla County is part of the Tallahassee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[change | change source]

Spanish rule[change | change source]

In 1528, Panfilo de Narvaez found what would be Wakulla County. He had left Tampa, Florida and was camping where the Wakulla River and St. Marks River joined together. Narvaez felt this was a good place to build a fort. In 1539, Hernando de Soto followed with his soldiers. They created San Marcos de Apalache.

Early 19th century[change | change source]

The area was an active place in the early 19th century. A former British officer named William Augustus Bowles led 400 Creek Indians in an attack to take control of San Marcos. This angered Spain. A Spanish flotilla got to the area about 5 weeks later. The Spanish took control of San Marcos. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson attacked (Wakulla) and took control of San Marcos. Two British people, Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, were said to have started Indian raids. They were found guilty of the crime and killed. This caused large diplomatic problems between the United States and England. In 1821, Florida was became a part of the United States. San Marcos controlled by U.S. troops. In 1824, the fort was no longer used. Control of it was given to the Territory of Florida. By 1839, the fort was returned to the U.S. A federal marine hospital was built. The hospital helped people with yellow fever in the area.

Antebellum Wakulla[change | change source]

Wakulla County was created from Leon County in 1843. It may be named for the Timucuan Indian word for "spring of water" or "mysterious water." This is because of Wakulla County's best natural attraction, Wakulla Springs. Wakulla Springs is one of the world's largest freshwater springs. In 1974, the water flow was measured at 1.23 billion US gallons (4,700,000 m3) per day. This is the greatest recorded flow ever for a single spring.

At one time, the town of Port Leon was a very busy cotton-shipping hub. It had a railroad that carried over 50,000 tons of cotton a year. This cotton was sent to ship which mostly went to Europe. Port Leon was the sixth-largest town in Florida. 1,500 people lived there. A hurricane and its storm surge destroyed the town. New Port (today known as Newport) was built two miles (3 km) up river. It never did as well as Port Leon.[3][4]

Civil War[change | change source]

During the Civil War, Wakulla County was blockaded from 1861-1865. Confederates took control of San Marcos de Apalache. They changed the name to Fort Ward. The Battle of Natural Bridge stopped the Union force that tried to take Fort Ward and nearby Tallahassee. Tallahassee was the last Confederate state capitol that the Union had not captured. The Union forces were not able use all their soldiers. They still had more soldiers than the Confederates. The Confederates chose to fight at a place where the St Marks River goes underground. This was the "Natural Bridge' the battle was named for. The Confederates had over a day to get ready for the battle. The Union could not win and left. Most of the people who died in the battle were African-American soldiers fighting for the Union. A celebration was held in Tallahassee. It was stopped when a telegram arrived telling them about General Lee's surrender at Appomattox.[4]

The Twentieth Century[change | change source]

From the early 1900s to 1966, Wakulla was very poor. It had no doctor and no dentist. There were only a small number of stores in the county. The county newspaper was printed just once a month on a mimeograph machine.[4] Today, Wakulla has several doctors and dentists, There are several supermarkets and retailers. The county has a golf resort and a very good seafood business.[5]

Geography[change | change source]

The county has a total area of 735.74 square miles (1,905.6 km2). 606.66 square miles (1,571.2 km2) (or 82.46%) of this area is land and 129.08 square miles (334.3 km2) (or 17.54%) is water.[6] Wakulla County is part of the Tallahassee Metropolitan Statistical Area.

National protected areas[change | change source]

State and local protected areas[change | change source]

Demographics[change | change source]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 22,863 people, 8,450 households, and 6,236 families living in the county. There were 38 people for each square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.10% White, 11.51% Black, 0.59% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 1.94% of the people were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Places[change | change source]

Incorporated[change | change source]

Unincorporated[change | change source]

Wakulla County is unusual in that it has almost no municipal population. The two very small municipalities have about 3 percent of the people. The county seat, Crawfordville, is the only unincorporated county seat of Florida's 67 counties.

Political[change | change source]

County representation[change | change source]

Wakulla County Government
Position Name Party

Commissioner Alan Brock Democrat
Commissioner Randy Merritt Democrat
Commissioner Mike Stewart Republican
Commissioner Jerry Moore Republican
Commissioner Lynn Artz NPA
Sheriff David Harvey Democrat
County Judge Jill Walker Democrat
Clerk of the Court Brent Thurmond Democrat
Property Appraiser Donnie Sparkman Democrat
School Superintendent David Miller Democrat
Elections Supervisor Buddy Wells Democrat
Tax Collector Cheryll Olah Democrat

[8]

Transportation[change | change source]

Roads[change | change source]

There are no Interstate highways in Wakulla County. Several large roads do go through the area. These include U.S. Route 98 and U.S. Route 319. Other important roads in the county include State Road 267, State Road 363 and County Road 375.[9]

Railroads[change | change source]

There are currently no railroads in Wakulla County. In the past, the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad passed through Sopchoppy moving between Tallahassee and Carrabelle. The use of this railroad ended in 1948,[10] The Tallahassee Railroad, the first railroad in Florida, stopped being used in 1983.

Airports[change | change source]

The Wakulla County Airport (2J0)is south of Panacea. It is a small public-use airport. The airport has with a single 2,600-foot (790 m), north-south turf runway.[11]

Seaports[change | change source]

St. Marks is a small commercial seaport. In in the past, it has some importance in the oil industry. It is currently used mainly by commercial fishermen.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Government links/constitutional offices[change | change source]

Other links[change | change source]

Sources[change | change source]

Coordinates: 30°09′N 84°23′W / 30.15°N 84.38°W / 30.15; -84.38