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Community Overview

Then & Now

old cabin

Starting out as The New River County in 1858, Bradford County was renamed in 1861 in honor of Captain Richard Bradford, who fought and died in the Civil War battle of Santa Rosa Island. The early area was a wilderness, with deer, bears, wildcats and panthers, and various Seminole tribes. Early settler occupations included hunting, farming and lumber related businesses.

Starke, the county seat of Bradford County, has been an important hub in north central Florida for 150 years. Before the first cross-state railroad came through in the 1850s, pioneer crops included cotton and oranges, and Starke was Florida's first strawberry capital. Later years saw the construction of Camp Blanding, which helped the local economy. The population boomed, and today, Starke is a growing town, which still manages to maintain its country allure.

historic building

Union County was created in 1921 and named to honor the concept of unity. Lake Butler, the county seat, was established in 1859 and sits on a lake of the same name. When the United States purchased Florida in 1819, wandering tribes of Indians followed trails, which in some instances are the general routes of today's highways.

Keystone Heights in Southwest Clay County features numerous lakes, parks and recreation areas as well as an interesting downtown shopping area. Boating and skiing are very common in this commuter town, situated between two main Florida cities, Jacksonville and Gainesville.

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