Alachua’s History Timeline
Beginning of the Road
Alachua was established in 1884 on a railroad line, after the railroad had bypassed nearby Newnansville.
Meanwhile in Alachua, Mr. F.E. Williams took advantage of the tracks running through his property. According to a March 1885 issue of the Alachua Advocate (the forerunner of the Gainesville Sun) "F.E. Williams is made an effort to get a post office established in his new town at the railroad depot. He had about 150 signatures to his petition. Alachua got a post office in 1887.
Alachua is Born
Alachua was incorporated as a city on 12 April 1905, at which time it had a population of 526 people.
By 1912 it had three hotels: the Sheffield Hotel; Transient House; and a second Transient House.
The electric light and waterworks plant began operating in 1913. Electricity cost $1 per month for the first 300 watts and $1.25 for 300-500 watts. The cost of water was $1 per month "for the first opening and 25 cents for each additional opening."
Alachua had two banks, three hotels, a number of stores ranging from a fruit stand to a large, well-stocked department store, ice plant, electric light plant, waterworks, two cotton gins, two grist mills and bottling works.
The new township of Alachua had constructed two church buildings, Baptist and Methodist. The local Presbyterians held their own services in the Baptist church. The school building stood on the hill "to the northeast of town." At first, there were seven teachers. The school`s first graduating class, two boys and a girl, were to graduate in May.
Education Begins to Grow
The schools grew and the Alachua High School Basketball team upset the sports world with a victory in the state tournament over Duval High of Jacksonville and in nearby Gainesville people were becoming aware that the Florida Gators were being supported by a state-wide audience.
Connected to the World
By 1925 Alachua had a population of 1,100. It still had two banks and its own utilities but all three churches now had their own building. There was now a telephone connection to the outside world.
Main street originally was a dirt road lined with trees running through the middle of town. Saturday on main street in Alachua was the busiest time of the week. Local farmers from miles around would come to town with their families to buy groceries, plow lines, bridles, nails, buckets, cloth, shoes, and any other household needs.
Copeland Sausage Company opened its doors. It was first built near The Alachua Recreation Center. However, they were not allowed to kill the hogs inside the city limits. Therefore, they would kill the hogs across the street (which was not in the city limits at the time). When they built the new plant, they built it outside the city limits.
In 1950 the population was 1,116.
Still Moving Fast
By 1960 Alachua had grown to a population of 1,974.
Community Growing Fast
In 1970, the U.S. Census listed it at 2,252.
Big City Growth
In 1990 there where more than 4,500 people.
Start of a New Millenium
As of 2000, there were 6,098 people, 2,348 households, and 1,751 families residing in the city.
Today Alachua has a population of over 9,000 residents. The median income for a household in the city was $38,075, and the median income for a family was $49,542. Males had a median income of $36,315 versus $28,018 for females.