Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hogtown and Gainesville, Florida

Hogtown was a small Seminole Indian village located in what is now northwest Gainesville near today's Westside Recreation center (NW 8th and 34th).   In 1824 the Seminoles were paid $20 to move out and leave the place to the 14 settlers who had built cabins adjacent to the village.    And during the second Seminole War (1835-42) the  settlers built Fort Hogtown on the site for protection from the Indians - one of about a dozen forts built in the area at the time.

Gainesville, on the other hand, was founded several decades later than Hogtown about 3 miles to the east.  Gainesville is now home to the University of Florida which was established about the same time that Gainesville was incorporated - 1853.  And the small village called Hogtown faded off into history.   Well, sort of.  The name survived as a nickname that still hovers over the area.

Just south of town the little village of Micanopy gives a feel for what Main Street in small town Florida looked like about a hundred years ago.    Randomly cycling through the Micanopy area I came across several depression-era shacks built for sharecropping a booming turpentine business in the former town of Shiloh.


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