Micanopy: A Tiny Town That Time Forgot

Change Of Scene
The Herlong Mansion is Micanopy’s most famous building. Completed in 1845, a brick version was constructed around the original frame in 1910. Now an inn, it offers 11 guest rooms, including one that opens onto the upstairs veranda — and its own ghost.

It’s Florida the way it used to be” states an Alachua County visitors brochure, and truly a visit to Micanopy is like a step back in time. It is situated in an area that was populated at least as far back as the Timucan Indians, whom De Soto discovered living there in 1539.

Naturalist William Bartram found Seminole villages when he visited the area in 1774, but it was not until 1821, when Edward Wanton started a trading post for settlers, that a town was established. In 1835 the name of the town was officially changed from Wanton Trading Post to Micanopy in honor of the chief of the Seminole Nation. It is the oldest inland town and the second oldest town in Florida, and anyone interested in history should visit the Micanopy Historical Society Museum on N. Cholokka Boulevard. Cholokka, the main street, is shaded with huge moss-hung live oak trees that form a canopy over the small frame houses, giving the town a protected and comfortable feeling. This used to be Route 441 but in 1960 the state of Florida rebuilt the highway and bypassed Micanopy, which ultimately worked to the town’s advantage.

Read the entire article in the November 2003 issue

Categories: Features