Tour Guide of Historic Alachua County
History of High Springs

Virtual Tour

Fernando and Mary Underwood settled at Crockett Springs, three miles east of the present city, in 1847. Their descendants still live in High Springs. With the discovery of phosphate deposits nearby and the 1884 extension of the Savannah, Florida, and Western Railroad from Live Oak to Gainesville, a boisterous mining town developed. A post office and a station called Santaffey were established in November of 1884. In March of 1885 the name was changed to Santa Fe. A community named Fairmont, north of the railroad, appeared later in 1885. The post office was called Orion in 1886. The name became High Springs on May 24, 1888 and the city incorporated in 1892. (Another name change, recommended by the Chamber of Commerce, in 1925 was not adopted.)

On September 29, 1896, a severe windstorm caused extensive damage to the city. The business district had serious fires in 1898 and again in 1912.

High Springs became an important rail center in the 20th century with a large yard and maintenance shops. It also became a major agricultural center for the surrounding area. Tobacco and peanuts continue to be important crops.

This information has been taken from the Alachua County Historical Tour Series Brochure, published by the Alachua County Historical Commission, and sponsored by the Alachua County Commission (1986).