Newnansville Town Site
S.R. 235. and Hipp Way
At the end of 1824, Alachua County was organized as a political unit of the new Territory of Florida. The Seminole inhabitants of the Alachua region had recently been ordered to a reservation, and land was available there for white settlers. Early in 1826, a post office was established in this area called “Dell’s P.O.” It derived its name from the Dell brothers, who had first visited the Alachua region during the “Patriot War” (1812-14) and had later returned to settle there. In 1828, the settlement near Dell’s P.O. was officially made the Alachua County seat and named “Newnansville” in honor of a Patriot War hero, Daniel Newnan. Newnansville became the junction of several important trails through frontier Florida. This marker stands on the site of the Bellamy Road, a cross-Florida route authorized by Congress in 1824 as the first federal road in the new territory. During the Second Seminole War (1835-42), hundreds of displaced refugee settlers were sheltered at Newnansville and also at Ft. Gilleland, a nearby military post built in 1836. After the hostilities were concluded, Newnansville prospered as a commercial center for the expanding Middle Florida frontier. The chief products of the area were corn, cotton, and after the Civil War, citrus. Except for a few years between 1832 and 1839, Newnansville served as the Alachua County seat until 1854. In that year, the political center of the county was moved to the new railroad town of Gainesville. During the next three decades, Newnansville slowly declined in population and importance. The community was dealt a final blow in 1884 when the Savannah, Florida and Western Railroad bypassed it. A new town, Alachua, grew up near that railroad. As the years passed, the residents of Newnansville moved there or elsewhere. By the 1970’s only a few traces remained of the former community. In 1974, the Newnansville Town Site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district in recognition of the importance of that nineteenth century community.
Also known as Fort Gilleland; Dell’s; Alachua.
The marker is located Northeast of Alachua on SR 235 between Hipp Way and NW 12st Terrace.
Newnansville Town Site is a Florida Historic Marker and a National Register of Historic Places.
Alachua County Historical Commission and the Florida Department of State
TAGS: All,19th Century