The rich history of Lake City, Florida’s Springlands may surprise you. It includes a pretty diverse selection of offerings along our historical timeline: Native American settlements. The arrival of Europeans — the conquistador DeSoto trekked his army through here in 1539. The Second Seminole War. Civil War battles. Florida’s first elevator. The founding of the University of Florida. WWII pilot training and more. And here’s a bit of historical trivia everyone seems to like: Lake City was originally named Alligator. You can get a crash course in our history and culture at the Columbia County History Museum in Lake City. There’s also a museum dedicated to Stephen Foster, widely regarded as America’s first popular songwriter. (You’ve heard “Camptown Races,” right?) So explore our history and have an “Oh, Doo-Dah Day!”
The Lake City-Columbia County Historical Museum is housed in an 1870s-era home previously owned by the Vinzant family. This museum includes two stories of the history of Columbia County and artifacts from the Civil War. A portion of the museum is devoted to Vinzant family artifacts, including family photos. In addition to the various exhibitions, the museum also offers genealogical research, tours and special events.
The Blanche has been a downtown landmark and central hub of hospitality for over 100 years. It was built in 1902 by Frank Pierce Milburn, considered the most popular southern architect of his time and famous for his eclectic style. Commonly referred to as “the pride of Lake City,” The Blanche was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 18, 1990.
Historic Venue Outdoor Event Space
Take a stroll down the shaded sidewalks through the historic town of White Springs, a town situated just across the Suwannee River from Columbia County. The White Sulphur Springs Springhouse was one of Florida’s original tourist destinations where visitors can see a piece of Florida history.
The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park preserves Florida history on the banks of the river made famous by the song "Old Folks at Home" written by Stephen Foster. It features a colonial-style museum engulfed in a nature park, so you can go hiking, cycling, and canoeing before or after viewing the exhibits.
Visit a train station turned into a museum at Olustee Depot near Lake City. The exhibit tells the tale of the building’s history serving as a medical station for wounded soldiers during the Battle of Olustee.