Baker County FLGenWeb

Laverne Tornow

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In 1861 by an act of the legislature, New River County was divided into two counties, creating Baker county which was the 39th county in Florida. New River County was renamed Bradford County and the part that became Baker County was named for Honorable James McNait Baker, former Judge of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Florida.

The original county seat was located in Sanderson until February 1, 1886 when it was moved to Macclenny. Macclenny was named after C.B. Macclenny, a big timber salesman. The town was incorporated April 11, 1887, and a revised map was recorded on March 4, 1889.

Olustee Battlefield, a state historic site located in Baker County, is a memorial to the major engagement of the Civil War in Florida. The battlefield, on U.S. 90 two miles east of Olustee, covers 270 acres. Each year hundreds of historical re-enactors converge there to recreate the Battle of Olustee.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the main businesses were: cattle raising, turpentining, lumbering, and farming. Osceola National Forest has played an important roll in the economy of the county.

Agriculture has always played a predominant role in the history of Baker County. Forestry is the backbone of the agricultural community, followed closely by the ornamental horticulture industry. The county has some of Florida's oldest and largest wholesale nurseries, especially in woody ornamentals. Nursery stock grown in Baker County is shipped nationwide.

If you have any bible records, cemetery transcriptions, documents, photographs, family histories, etc. related to New River or Baker County and its history, please consider allowing them to be displayed on this website. For more information regarding submitting your documents and/or photographs, please contact the County Coordinator for instructions.