500 Years of Baker County, Florida
Baker County Seal


1476 - County area inhabited by Timucua language group of American Indians, and was in the north of the Province of Potano.
1539 - Hernando de Soto's expedition passed either near southwest corner of county or through it into Okeefeenokee.
1564 - French founded Ft. Caroline 40 miles east of county.
1565 - St. Augustine begun by Spain 65 miles southeast of area.
1698 - Spain re-settled Pensacola, and utilized an ancient Timucua-Apalachee route as the Spanish Trail (US90).
1702 - The English of South Carolina ravaged the Florida and south Georgia countryside, destroying the Timucua Indians.
1719 - County area completely uninhabited.
1720 - Creek-related tribes (especially the Oconee) move into County and begin to farm. Possibly founded Olustee.
1763 - Treaty of Paris, ending the International Seven Years War, gave Florida to England.
1765 - Baker County was within northern limit of the hunting ground granted to the Seminole Nation by British Governor James Grant.
1773 - James Spauldings Indian trading post set up at Olustee near Ocean Pond (Lake Spaulding).
1774 - John Bartram in Cowford. River Road east of St. Marys and Trail Ridge shown on British maps.
1776 - Declaration of Independence. Area was a haven for Tories and International renegades (Dan McGirt). An English settler named Anderson lent his name to the intersection of the St. Marys and Trail Ridge.
1778 - Minorcans arrived at Andrew Turnbull's New Smyrna Colony, and some ran away to the interior. Battle at Alligator Bridge near present Callahan.
1783 - End of Revolution. Florida returned to Spain. New influx of Seminoles into area.
1795 - Pinckney Treaty attempted to prevent Spanish Florida from harboring renegades and slave-stealers. Call made for determining boundry between U. S. and Spanish Florida.
1797 - Ellicott surveyed Georgia-Florida border, and erected a mound in northeast corner of county to indicate true source of St. Marys. Snow covered the ground up to 8 inch drifts.
1803 - Pres. Jefferson expressed a desire to annex Florida. Americans move into northeast Florida.
1805 - Jefferson's annual message to Congress called for warfare to acquire Florida.
1808 - Fernandina established by Spanish.
1809 - Southern slave-holding warhawks agitate for annexation of Florida. South American revolutions weaken Spain's hold on Florida.
1810 - Osceola (Billy Powell) and his mother Polly Ann Copinger Powell in vicinity.
1812 - American George Mathews captured Fernandia driving Spanish, Indians, and some Americans inland toward County area. War declared by U. S. against England.
1815 - Raids made into Georgia and Alabama by Indians and international thieves. U. S. calls for punishment.
1816 - Lewis Hogan and the Widow Taylor settled at Cowford. Isaiah Hart platted and named the city of Jacksonville.
1817 - Amelia Island captured by U. S. to clear out pirates. Gen. Jackson crossed Florida border to punish Seminoles for their raids. Georgia legislator Cone argued to take in a portion of Florida including most of present Baker County.
1818 - Jackson and his forces captured all Florida posts except St. Augustine. Battle of Lake Butler (Lake Randolph) between U. S. Military and Seminole Chief Bendoris.
1819 - Adams-Onis Treaty forced Spain to relinquish her claim to Florida. End of first Seminole War. Settlers move in.
1820 - Florida formally became U. S. Territory.
1821 - All territory east of Suwannee organized as St. Johns County. First known Baptist church in Florida established on Pigeon Creek about 15 miles northeast of County.
1822 - Duval County (including present Baker) cut out of St. Johns. Alachua Trail crossed southeastern section of County.
1823 - Treaty of Moultrie Creek, near St. Augustine, removed Seminoles from north Florida.
1824 - Bellamy Road (U.S.military) ran just south of County. Territorial site of Tallahassee selected.
1827 - Great exodus of Georgia Indians through area to Alachua.
1828 - Alachua County (including Baker) created. First U. S. Post road through area for mail delivery (U.S.90).
1829 - First pioneer wagon train into County area. Pony express mail service.
1832 - Columbia County (including Baker) cut out of Alachua. Scattered Seminole attacks, Ft. Olustee established.
1834 - North end of County surveyed for cross-Florida barge canal.
1835 - Stage coach mail service. Second Seminole War. Severe freeze.
1837 - Burnsed blockhouse (Raulerson or Carl Brown House). Nationwide economic panic.
1838 - Florida Constitutional Convention at St. Joseph.
1840 - Mt. Olivet Methodist Church (Manntown).
1841 - Macedonia (Hicks) Cemetery. Yellow fever and violent hurricane season.
1842 - End of second Seminole War. Armed Occupation Act took many settlers south to former Indian lands.
1844 - Ocean Pond appointment appeared on Newnansville Methodist circuit.
1845 - Florida statehood signed by Pres. Tyler on March 3rd.
1850 - Cedar Creek Cemetery. First circular sawmill in east Florida set up at Jacksonville.
1851 - Florida Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad incorporated. Eppinger and Russell Co. of New York began buying timber in area.
1857 - Railroad construction began at Jacksonville.
A Yellow Fever epidemic struck north Florida slowing down completion.
1858 - New River County (including Baker) cut out of Columbia.
1859 - RR at eastern county line in April. At present-day Macclenny in August. At Olustee in December.
1861 - Civil War. Secession. Baker County created from New River County in February. Sanderson founded as County Seat.
1862 - Scarlet fever epidemic. Fernandina in Union hands.
1863 - Jacksonville raided and burned by U. S.
1864 - Union camp at Sanderson and Barber Plantation. Battle of Olustee on February 20. First Brick fireplace built in the county at the Isaac Davis Place
1865 - Peace. Former U. S. soldiers settled in County. A Duval County man was elected to serve in State Legislature for Baker County.
1866 - First recorded deed 17 February from Mr. Geiger to Mr. Mott. Florida Georgia boundary dispute settled .
1867 - John Darby and Oliver Savage bought up site of present Macclenny. Darby's Station. Residents refused to celebrate Independence Day under Union rule.
1868 - Ku Klux Klan activities at peak in county.
1869 - Williamsburg founded on RR near present St. Mary's Church.
1870 - Sanderson F and AM. First state political candidate, William D. Bloxham, visited County, Darbyville named.
1871 - Dawkins F. and AM Lodge, Darbyville.
1874 - First newspaper in county by Charles A. Finley in Darbyville.
1876 - Voting scandal in Baker County felt nationwide.
1877 - Courthouse in Sanderson burned. Darbyville begins movement to relocate County Seat. Bethel Baptist, Macclenny, constituted. Bethlehem Primitive Baptist, Sanderson. St. Marys Primitive Baptist Association formed. County road districts set. Yellow fever epidemic.
1880 - Macclenny Hotel built. The Press newspaper established by editor, Matt Howard.
1882 - Glen Nurseries. Woodlawn Cemetery. Glen St. Mary founded.
1883 - First Baptist, Macclenny. Macclenny platted and named by northern land company.
1884 - First Methodist Church, Macclenny. Baker County Star newspaper established.
1885 - St. James Episcopal Academy, Macclenny founded. Miles marked along Alachua Trail. Glen St. Mary road district created. Voting precinct boundaries set. Petition begun for County Seat removal.
1886 - Severe freeze. Charleston earthquake felt in county. County Seat Removal Referendum.
1887 - Macclenny named new County Seat, and celebrated with fireworks and fights. Olustee Baptist Church established.
1888 - New frame courthouse erected at Macclenny. Yellow fever devastated County.
1889 - Macedonia Methodist Church established. Olustee Masonic Lodge #104 established.
1890 - Macclenny Sentinal newspaper established by James B. Mathews.
1891 - Sanderson Masonic Lodge #122 chartered.
1892 - Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist, Taylor established.
1894 - Freeze destroyed County citrus.
1895 - Freeze worse than previous year.
1896 - Hurricane damage heavy. Blew away bell tower from Macclenny First Baptist Church.
1898 - Spanish-American War. Local trestles guarded by U. S. Troops.
1899 - Severe freeze.
1900 - Courthouse burned. First state LDS Church Conference met at Sanderson.
1904 - Baxter Rebellion. Martial law declared.
1905 - Cedar Creek No Hell Baptist Church. Griffin Nurseries (Southern States). Macclenny's first masonry building.
1906 - Glen St. Mary Masonic Lodge #158 chartered.
1907 - Macclenny Church of Christ.
1908 - New brick courthouse. Dinkins New Congregational Church. First rural mail carrier, Macclenny.
1910 - Landfill begun for new jail to replace calaboose.
1911 Oak Grove (Burnsed) Church established.
1912 - Battle of Olustee Monument erected.
1913 - Florida's first cattle dipping vat for control of fever tick began operation near Macclenny.
1914 - Masonic Lodge #211 chartered at Taylor.
1917 - Masonic Lodge #244 chartered at Sapp.
1918 - World War I. Troops guarded local trestles. Spanish influenza kills hundreds. Glen's first masonry building was a combination merchantile and Masonic Hall.
1919 - Macclenny Woman's Club founded
1920 - Land boom
1921-1922 U.S. 90 (then know as Route 1) had a 340 ft. reinforced concrete bridge constructed over the Little (South) Prong of the St. Mary�s River. Constructed by Pensacola Ship Co. for $32,144.29
1924 - U. S. 90 (then know as Route 1) paved (first paving in County). First accident on the new highway occurred near Olustee. Citizens Bank founded.
1925 - Austin Bus Line was first public transportation through County.
1927 - Boundry of County given in Florida law.
1928 - Macclenny Railroad depot erected.
1929 - Osceola National Forest created; Baker County Press newspaper established by Tate Powell, Sr. Macclenny Church of God.
1931 - Osceola National Forest.
1935 - Mt. Olive Congregational Holiness, Manntown. Macclenny Lions Club founded.
1937 - Fire destroyed the Powers block in Macclenny.
1938 - Paving begun on Raiford Road (S.R. 121).
1939 - Business and Professional Womens Club Founded.
1940 - New courthouse begun.
1941 - World War II. Courthouse construction halted and workers transferred to Camp Blanding.
1945 - End of World War II. Courthouse construction resumed. Postwar boom and increase of 'shine' activities. First football team organized at Macclenny-Glen High School called "The Pirates".
1947 - Hurricane damage to roads and bridges. First Pine Tree Festival (co- sponsored by Mr. Will Knabb and the Lions Club).
1948 - Mt. Zion New Congregational Methodist. High School Band begun. Leona Knabb Chapter, Order of Eastern Star founded.
1949 - Olustee Battlefield put under Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials. Entire community of Baxter transported to Tallahassee by chartered bus for Fuller Warren's inauguaration.
1950 - Raiford Road Church of Christ founded. Faith Baptist founded.
1951 - Baxter Church of God founded.
1954 - Baker County Classroom Teachers Association formed.
1956 - Consolidation of county high schools.
1957 - Famous Morris House is closed because of Social Security Regulations. Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital. Friendly Fellowship Club.
1958 - Northeast Florida State Hospital.
1959 - St. Marys Catholic Church. Alpha Delta Kappa, Junior Women's Club.
1961 - Baker County Centennial Celebration.
1962 - Macclenny Art Group founded.
1966 - Integration of public schools.
1970 - Baker County Retired Teachers Association formed.
1973 - Beta Sigma Phi founded. Omicron Theta Chapter established.
1974 - New County Jail and New Baker County Health Department Nursing Mothers Organization.
1975 - Bicentennial Committee. Baker County Sertoma Club founded. Bicentennial Committee organized.
1976 - New home for Sanderson Post Office/First manufacturing industry in Baker/Bicentennial festivities.
1978 - Baker County Historical Society founded.
1979 - Baker County Fair Association founded.
1980 - Baker County Chamber of Commerce formed/ Interdenominational Chapel at NEFSH named in memory of the Honorable Edwin G. Fraser.
1981 - Glen St. Mary Centennial Celebration/Baker County Fine Arts Council Founded/City Police Department abolished and County Law Enforcement Consolidated.
1982 - Library named in honor of Emily Taber/Friends of the Library formed.
1983 - Severe freeze/ Macclenny Centennial Celebrated.
1984 - Health Department Building named in honor of Bertha Todd Wolfe.
1987 - First Baker County-Wide Homecoming.
1988 - July 4th Veteran's monument dedicated on front lawn of County Court House. Gymnasium at NEFST named in memory of the Honorable John J Crews.
1989 - Baker Improvement Group (BIG) formed. A first white Christmas. Two inches of snow covers ground. First Invitational Basketball Tournament.
1990 - Second Baker County-Wide Homecoming.

1) Source - keyshistory.org

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