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Fort White, Florida
Top, left to right: Florida State Road 47 in Fort White, Fort White Train Depot, Fort White High School, Town of Fort White sign, Fort White Public School Historic District, Fort White United Methodist Church
Top, left to right: Florida State Road 47 in Fort White, Fort White Train Depot, Fort White High School, Town of Fort White sign, Fort White Public School Historic District, Fort White United Methodist Church
Home of the Ichetucknee River
Location in Columbia County and the state of Florida
Location in Columbia County and the state of Florida
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Columbia
 • Total 2.41 sq mi (6.25 km2)
 • Land 2.41 sq mi (6.25 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
69 ft (21 m)
 • Total 618
 • Density 256.01/sq mi (98.86/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 386
FIPS code 12-24500
GNIS feature ID 0282713

Fort White is a town in Columbia County, Florida, United States, named after a military fort built in the 1830s. It is the closest town to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Fort White High School and the Fort White Public School Historic District are located within the town's borders. The original school building was constructed in 1915.

As of the 2020 census,the population of Fort White was 618.


Fort White is located in southern Columbia County at 29°55′23″N 82°42′51″W / 29.92306°N 82.71417°W / 29.92306; -82.71417 (29.923001, -82.714299), at the intersection of U.S. Route 27 and Florida State Road 47. SR 47 leads north 20 miles (32 km) to Lake City, the Columbia County seat, and south 23 miles (37 km) to Trenton. US 27 leads southeast 16 miles (26 km) to Alachua and Interstate 75, and west 13 miles (21 km) to Branford.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Fort White has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land. Most of the land surrounding the town is family farms and/or forests.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 376
1900 600 59.6%
1910 329 −45.2%
1920 360 9.4%
1930 272 −24.4%
1940 317 16.5%
1950 329 3.8%
1960 425 29.2%
1970 365 −14.1%
1980 386 5.8%
1990 268 −30.6%
2000 409 52.6%
2010 567 38.6%
2020 618 9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 567 people, 151 households, and 104 families residing in the town. The population density was 176.8 people per square mile (68.4/km2). There were 184 housing units at an average density of 79.5 per square mile (30.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50.61% White, 46.70% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, and 1.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.42% of the population.

There were 151 households, out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.35.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.6% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 76.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,250, and the median income for a family was $28,000. Males had a median income of $26,477 versus $26,667 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,578. About 24.1% of families and 26.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.0% of those under age 18 and 42.0% of those age 65 or over.


Fort White (the actual military fort) was constructed during the Second Seminole War in 1836 to protect the Cow Creek settlement. Supplies were brought in by steamboat on the Santa Fe River and distributed to other area forts. Due to sickness, flooding along the river and rumors of the railroad coming to the area, the settlement was moved 4 miles (6 km) east to its present location.

The town was incorporated in 1884 and grew steadily following the arrival of the railroad in 1888. Phosphate mining, turpentine and agriculture (cotton and oranges) were the foundation of the economy, and the population grew to nearly 2,000. The boom turned to bust as severe freezes in the winters of 1896 and 1897 destroyed the local citrus industry. By 1910, the largest phosphate deposits were depleted and mining ceased. The boll weevil ended cotton farming before World War I, and the population shrank to a few hundred people, primarily farmers, ranchers and foresters. The town's population in 1979 was 365.

The Ichetucknee River

The locals have always known of and enjoyed the crystal clear Ichetucknee River and Springs, located 4 miles (6 km) northwest of the town. However, before 1970, the existence and location of this natural wonder were something of a secret. The road to the spring was not paved, nor was it marked, because the spring was on private property. In 1970, the state of Florida purchased the Ichetucknee spring and river property from the Loncala Phosphate Corporation. Columbia County built a paved road, number 238, providing easier access to the springs. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The main tributary from Ichetucknee Springs became one of the most popular tubing destinations in the world, attracting up to 5,000 visitors each day during the summer. Others came to the river to swim, picnic, snorkel, scuba dive, and explore the nearby forests.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fort White para niños

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