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Wahoo, Florida To Monticello, Florida To Lake City, Florida

Lake City, Florida

February 22, 2022

My drive this morning was through a remote part of Florida. It may not qualify as the Forgotten Coast but it probably qualifies as forgettable.

The area included Shamrock — and I failed to take a photo of its road sign. 🙁

Shamrock is an unincorporated community in Dixie County, Florida, United States. The community is located at US 19ALT 27-98. The historic Putnam Lodge, built for the Putnam Lumber Company's operations in Shamrock is located nearby in Cross City, Florida.

Immediately behind the Lodge, was the company town. Wood-frame homes were built for the company employees and later rented to the general public. This part of Shamrock was abandoned by the latter part of the century and no longer exists today.

The company ‘store’ consisting of a row of connected wood framed offices included mercantile and medical facilities until the late 1950s. This structure was also abandoned and no longer exists today.

My target for my morning drive was Monticello, Florida.

Monticello (/ˌmɒntɪˈsɛloʊ/ MON-tih-SEL-oh) is a city in Jefferson County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,506 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Jefferson County. The city is named after Monticello, the estate of the county's namesake, Thomas Jefferson, on which the Jefferson County Courthouse (Monticello, Florida) was modeled.

Monticello is home to Indian mounds and many historic buildings, including the Perkins Opera House and Monticello Old Jail Museum.


Monticello is located in northern Jefferson County at 30°32′41″N 83°52′02″W.[8] U.S. Route 90 runs through the center of the city as Washington Street, leading east 16 miles (26 km) to Greenville and west 26 miles (42 km) to Tallahassee. U.S. Route 19 passes through the city center on Jefferson Street, leading south 10 miles (16 km) to Capps and north 22 miles (35 km) to Thomasville, Georgia. The two highways meet in the center of Monticello at Courthouse Circle, which surrounds the Jefferson County Courthouse. US-19 leads south from the courthouse 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 10 at Exit 225. I-10 leads west 25 miles (40 km) to Tallahassee and east 82 miles (132 km) to Lake City.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.3 km2), all land.


2000 census

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,533 people, 973 households, and 664 families residing in the city. The population density was 749.4 people per square mile (289.3/km2). There were 1,088 housing units at an average density of 321.9 per square mile (124.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 47.06% White, 50.85% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.

There were 973 households, out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.1% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,720, and the median income for a family was $32,356. Males had a median income of $25,932 versus $21,760 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,522. About 18.5% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under age 18 and 14.4% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, Monticello has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Monticello is the site of the highest temperature recorded in Florida, 109 °F (43 °C) on June 29, 1931.

History and culture

The Perkins Opera House is a 19th-century mercantile building that was adapted for use as a theater. It hosts regular musical performances, as well as theater productions and musicals. The first floor ballroom also holds receptions on a regular basis.

It is interesting that the population is over 50 percent Black when considering the memorials.

Having accomplished the goal of visiting Monticello, I headed back east along US 90. On that portion of my drive, I crossed the Suwannee River.

U.S. Route 90 or U.S. Highway 90 (US 90) is an east–west major United States highway in the Southern United States. Despite the "0" in its route number, US 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route. With the exception of a short-lived northward extension to US 62/US 180 near Pine Springs, Texas that existed for less than one year, its western terminus has always been at Van Horn, Texas; this is an intersection with Interstate 10 Business (formerly US 80) just north of an interchange with Interstate 10. Its eastern terminus is at Florida State Road A1A in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Suwannee River (also spelled Suwanee River) is a river that runs through south Georgia-southward into Florida in the southern United States. It is a wild blackwater river, about 246 miles (396 km) long.[1] The Suwannee River is the site of the prehistoric Suwanee Straits which separated peninsular Florida from the panhandle.

Turns out “Swanee River” is the Florida state song.

Tonight I’m back in Lake City.

Lake City is the county seat of Columbia County, Florida, United States.[4] As of the 2020 census,the city's population was 12,329. It is the principal city of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had a 2010 population of 67,531. Lake City is 60 miles west of Jacksonville.

Lake City began as the town of Alligator[6] in 1821 near the Seminole settlement known as Alligator Village. Alligator became the seat of Columbia County in 1832 when it was formed from Duval and Alachua counties. In 1858 Alligator was incorporated and renamed Lake City. The largest American Civil War battle in Florida took place near here in the Battle of Olustee in 1864; the Confederates won. In 1884 the Florida Agricultural College was established in Lake City as a land grant college; it was relocated to Gainesville in 1905 to form part of the University of Florida. The city's sesquicentennial was held in 2009.

Lake City is known as "The Gateway to Florida" because it is adjacent to the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 10. The city is the site of Lake City Gateway Airport, formerly known as NAS Lake City. Florida Gateway College is located in Lake City.

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