seems to me the earth may be borrowed but not bought. It may be used, but
not owned. It gives itself in response to love and tending, offers its
season flowering and fruiting. But we are tenants and not possessors,
lovers and not masters."--Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
Makin' Movies /
The Early Days:
Bartram's Trails and Tails / The
Early, Early Days / Micanopy Today /
Micanopy Stats & Stuff
(Mick-can-oh'-pee) is a unique city located in southeastern Alachua County
between I-75 and US 441. The streets are overhung with ancient oaks
bearded with Spanish moss and are bordered on either side by private homes
and storefronts that time seems to have forgotten.
Micanopy looks a little familiar, chalk it up to Hollywood--whose
directors can't resist Micanopy's quintessential small town charm and
Southern hospitality. This jewel of a town has served as the backdrop for
films "Doc Hollywood," with Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson, David Ogden
Stiers, and Bridget Fonda; and, "Cross Creek," with Mary Steenburgen,
Peter Coyote, and Rip Torn.
While Hollywood loves to visit, it certainly
hasn't changed the ambiance of this quiet town. Visitors leisurely wander
in and out of shops selling antiques, old books, ceramics, stained glass,
jewelry and other specialized arts and crafts. The town offers a four star
bed and breakfast--The Herlong Mansion--and great restaurants nearby. Try
Blue Highway Pizza off of 441 for excellent food.
The Early Days:
Bartram's Trails and Tales
When Bartram made his famous journey through
Florida, the Indians he found living in Alachua County (near Micanopy)
were remnants of the Southern Creek nation. They were called "Seminoles,"
a Creek word meaning "runaway." These Indians had become wealthy by
raising cattle and horses on land now known as Paynes Prairie.
Bartram wrote a book called The Travels of
William Bartram, published in Philadelphia in 1791. Alachua County,
portrayed as lush and dangerous, figured prominently among the stories and
sketches of plants and animals of Florida. He stayed with the Seminoles
and wrote about their customs.
The Indians befriended Bartram and must have been
amused by his keen interest in botany, because they nicknamed him 'Puc
Puggy,' meaning "Seeker of the Flowers." But plants weren't his only
interest here. Included in his work are a collection of drawings and
stories about "smoke breathing" alligators. Of course, alligators didn't
actually breathed smoke like fictional dragons, but his readers must have
loved the dramatic images Bartram created. From his detailed work, we know
that these were the ancestors of the same alligators that still cruise
though the dark waters of the Alachua Sink deep within Paynes Prairie.
Early, Early Days
Most of the buildings are on the National
Historic Register. In fact, Micanopy is the oldest inland settlement in
Florida. As early as 1539 there is record of a village located at the site
of Micanopy when explorer Hernando De Soto found the Timucuan Indians
A Seminole Indian village named Cuscowilla was
located on the site when the naturalist William Bartram visited in 1774.
The town was included in a land grant made by the King of Spain in 1817 to
Don Fernando del la Maza Arredondo of Havana and St. Augustine. Eventually
the fertile soil was used to produce sugar cane and then citrus.
Edward M. Wanton was hired to promote settlement
in the area, and not long after Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821.
In 1823 Moses Elias Levy established the first white settlement. Wanton
was the name of the first post office established in Alachua County in
A fort established there about 1831 to protect
settlers from hostile Indians remained until after the Second Seminole War
(1835-42). Micanopy has been continuously settled since 1821 and was
listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1983.The town was
simultaneously referred to as "Micanope" after the Seminole Indian chief
(Left ca., 1785- 1847) head chief of the Seminoles in the Seminole War;
Micanopy means "head chief." The name officially changed to "Micanopy" in
Today, the streets are lined with historic
buildings each housing unique shops and cafes, and it is quiet!
Here, visitors can find unique sites; friendly people; shops brimming with
antiques, collectables, folk art, and decorative fare; and beautiful
vistas and parks nearby such as Paynes Prairie, Orange Lake and Cross
In and around Micanopy, there are many things to
do year round that will please everyone! You can find canoeing, golfing,
hiking trails, kayaking, and enjoy swimming in nearby springs. Area
attractions include world-class antique shopping and antique auctions,
historical interests, museums, national/state parks, nature areas,
University of Florida football, Orange Lake and Lockloosa fishing, Paynes
Prairie State Preserve, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' home (Cross Creek),
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Hippodrome State Theatre, Devil's Millhopper
State Park, Natural springs like Poe Springs and Ginnie Springs, and more.
Micanopy Statistics &
The population of Micanopy is approximately 653.
The approximate number of families is 293.
The amount of land area in Micanopy is 2.561 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.12 sq kilometers.
Micanopy in the Columbia Gazetteer of North America
Micanopy Area Cooperative Schools
The distance from Micanopy to Washington DC is 720 miles. The distance to the
Florida state capital is 139 miles. (as the crow flies) Micanopy is positioned
29.50 degrees north of the equator and 82.28 degrees west of the prime meridian.