Come Visit Downtown Alachua
Just a few minutes from Gainesville, up I-75 or west on U.S. Highway 441 or a few minutes south of Lake City, you will find the charming, historic town of Alachua. In 1818, it was named Newnansville and a railroad station nearby was given the name “Alachua” by the postmaster. In 1905 it became known as the City of Alachua and had a population of 526. The meaning of the name Alachua is “Sink” although some say the meaning is, “Big Jug without a Bottom.” The name was given to the area by the Seminole Indians. In 1915 the City of Alachua had two churches, Methodist and Baptist, and the local school had seven teachers. By 1925 the population had grown to 1,100.
You will see many beautiful Victorian and Craftsman style homes and a tree lined, winding main street that has unique stores and fantastic restaurants. In fact, Main Street used to be a dirt road. Locals would pull up under shady trees to park their wagons that were pulled by mules. Later they were driving Ford model T’s. In 1932, Enneis Motor Company opened in a beautiful white brick building with huge paned windows located behind Alachua Farm and Lumber.
Saturday was the busiest day of the week with farmers coming to town to sell their produce and goods. Hitchcock’s started off as a small grocery store located on Main Street and the Copeland Sausage Plant was the largest employer. The brick store fronts and large shop windows which used to have the price of goods painted on them with a white, watery, chalk, makes Main Street a beautiful town. It was a town where everyone knew each other and to this day everyone really still does.
In 1955 High Springs and Alachua consolidated their high schools and it was named, “Santa Fe High School.”
The City of Alachua has grown with the addition of Progress Park. The park is a hightech research park that has employers and visitors from all over the world.
Main Street is still a place that people commute to for lunch or dinner as it makes a nice break from work in Gainesville or Lake City. Visitors can also stroll the street and shop at some of the cute stores.
Through the year, Alachua has come a long way but has been able to keep the charm of yesterday while balancing the technology of tomorrow, making it the …“The Good Life Community.”