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History Walk Around Downtown Gainesville
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00017063/00001
 Material Information
Title: History Walk Around Downtown Gainesville
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1969
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: No copyright notice.
Resource Identifier: aaa9723 - LTQF
System ID: UF00017063:00001

Full Text
History Walk
Around Downtown
Gainesville





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HISTORY WALK AROUND
DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE
Prepared for the
GAINESVILLE CENTENNIAL
hy
HELEN CUBBERLY ELLERBE
LIBRARIAN
CULTURAL ENRICHMENT CENTER
Illustrated by
WILLIAM SHIRLEY
CULTURAL ENRICHMENT CENTER
Gainesville, Florida
1969
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KEY TO MAP
1. County Courthouse
2. Baird Hardware Company
3. Vidal Drug Company
4. Wilson's Department Store
5. Municipal Building and Library
6. Old City Hall
7. Epworth Hall
8. Citizens Bank, site of White House Hotel
9. Masonic Temple, site of Episcopal Church
10. Arlington Hotel site
11. Confederate Monument
12. Site of Fire of 1938
13. Chitty Company
14. Site of Miss Tebeau's School
15. Old Post Office
16. First Presbyterian Church
17. Lyric Theatre site
18. First Fire Station site
19. Cox Furniture Company, formerly Baird Theatre
20. Site of Oldest garage
21. Old filling station
22. Federal Building
23. Old Library site





Gainesville received its name when it became the county seat
of Alachua county in 1854. The name was selected by vote of the
citizens of the area in honor of Gen. Edmund Pendleton Gaines
who became famous during the war of 1812 and later commanded
United States forces fighting against the Indians during the Semi-
nole Indian Wars in Florida. The change of the location of the
county seat from Newnansville was desirable because the Fernan-
dina to Cedar Key railroad came through Gainesville. The first
passenger train arrived in Gainesville on April 21, 1859.
The city grew slowly while it served an agricultural community.
Its citizens were in favor of secession and supported the Confed-
eracy with men and supplies important to the progress of the war.
Col. J. J. Dickison, whose home was near Gainesville, commanded
the Confederate troops in a successful battle at Gainesville which
secured territory essential for the support of the Confederacy.
During reconstruction the city recovered slowly. It was incorpo-
rated on April 15, 1869 with a mayor and council government.
The early years of the twentieth century brought new develop-
ments to Gainesville. The University of Florida was located here
in 1905 and has continued to be a dominant factor in the city's
growth. With the coming of automobiles streets were paved and
many of the trees and landscaped medians in the streets were
sacrificed to increased traffic.
Annexation of outlying residential areas in 1962 led to rapid
growth of city government and the building of a new municipal
building which is being dedicated at the time the city celebrates
one hundred years of incorporation.





HISTORY WALK AROUND DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE
Begin at the square, where the first court house built of wood was
completed in 1856. It was replaced in 1886 by a three story brick build-
ing with a clock tower. The present court house was constructed after
the demolition of the second court house in 1960, and was dedicated
in 1962. (1)
FORMER ALACHUA COUNTY COURTHOUSE
On the east side of the square Baird Hardware Company (2) has
occupied a building since 1890. Across University Avenue on the north
east and north west corners Vidal Drug Company (3) and Wilsons (4)
have been in business on the same locations since the 1870s.
BAIRD HARDWARE COMPANY





Procede east on University Avenue to the new Municipal Building
and Library (5) occupying a two block area. Looking east from the
Library one can see the oldest part of a city school, Kirby Smith. This
part of the school was the first brick twelve grade school erected in
Gainesville in 1900 and called the 'University High School.
On the north west corner of the Municipal Plaza was located the
first city hall (6) built in 1927 and demolished in 1968.
FIRST CITY HALL
Continue north on N.E. First Street to the First Methodist Church
property. The building now called Epworth Hall (7) was one of the
buildings of the East Florida Seminary located in Gainesville in 1866,
and consolidated with other state colleges to form the University of
Florida in 1905.
Across the street from Epworth Hall was located the girl's dormitory
of the Seminary which was later remodeled into the White House Hotel.
The Citizens Bank (8) now occupies this site. In the days when the Atlan-
tic Coast Line Railroad was located on Main Street passengers alighted
from the train at the White House for meals before the train preceded
to the station, located where the First National Bank (9), established
1888, is now located.
'HT O' E OTE
WHITE HOUSE HOTEL





Procede to north Main Street and turn south. On the corner now
occupied by the Masonic Temple (10) the first Episcopal church building
of Holy Trinity Parish was erected in 1873. This building was moved to
the corner of N.W. Fourth Street and Fourth Avenue where it still serves
the city as St. Augustine Mission for Negro communicants.
FIRST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Continue south on Main Street to the corner of University Avenue.
On the north west corner of this intersection stood the Arlington Hotel
(10) in the 1880s with second floor verandas from which guests could
view the courthouse square, well shaded by oak trees growing on each
side of and in the center of ninety foot streets laid out when the county
seat was moved to Gainesville in 1854.
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OLD ARLINGTON HOTEL
This corner was also the location of a skirmish on February 2, 1864
called the First Battle of Gainesville. The Second Battle of Gainesville
was fought on August 14, 1864 from the railroad tracks south of town
up to the Square, resulting in a decisive victory for the Confederate forces.





Looking west from this intersection, Main and University, one can
see the Seagle Building, begun during the land boom of the 1920's
as the Kelly Hotel but not completed until 1936 when it became a part
of the University of Florida to house the State Museum and offices.
The monument on the court house square at this corner honors the
Confederate dead. (11) The monument commemorating the yellow fever
epidemic was moved from the Square to Evergreen Cemetery.
Continuing south on Main Street one passes the site of Gaines-
ville's most disastrous fire (12) which consumed most of the block on
the west side of the square in 1938, in spite of help from the fire depart-
ments of Jacksonville and Ocala.
On the south east corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue the Chitty
Company (13) has been in business on the same site since 1902. Farther
south on the west side of Main Street, where a large city parking lot is
located, Miss Tebeau's Boarding and Day School (14) educated young
' '! '
MISS TEBEAU'S SCHOOL
ladies for more than 70 years. Its gardens were noted for their large
flowering shrubs. Farther south, where another old garden was be-
queathed to the city by Mrs. L. C. Lynch, was located the cabin of Bob
Higginbotham, the first settler in what is now Gainesville.
On reaching S.E. Second Place turn east to First Street S.W. Facing
north at this intersection is Gainesville's first Federal Building (15) erected
in 1909-11 after Oak Hall had been moved southwest of the site. Oak
Hall was once the residence of Tillman Ingman, early Gainesville planter
and builder, but later was used as a public building and U.S. Land
Office. The post office and other federal offices occupied this first Federal
Building at 25 S.E. Second Place until the new Federal Building was com-
pleted in 1964.





Turn north up S.E. First Street. On the east side in the 200 block
was located the first Presbyterian Church (16) used by all denomina-
tions for a time after it was erected in 1860.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Across the street was located one of Gainesville's early moving
-LA L1 [
picture theatres, the Lyric. (17)
OLD LYRIC THEATRE





At the northwest corner of Second Avenue and First Street was
located the first city fire station. (18) Council meetings and the municipal
court were held in part of the second floor of this building until the first
city hall was constructed.
i, i = _-. .:'
FIRST FIRE STATION
Farther north, on the corner of First Street and First Avenue Mr.
Simonson built an Opera House in 1887, later known as Baird's Theatre
and now Cox Furniture Company. (19)
BAIRD THEATRE
At this corner turn east, passing Gainesville's oldest garage (20)
and one of the earliest filling stations (21) located on the south side of
South East Second Street and continue east to the Federal Building at
401 S. E. First Avenue. (22) Cross the street and enjoy the fountain and
mall that connects the Federal Building with University Avenue.





At this intersection on the east was located the first public library
building. (23) This Carneige building was demolished to make way for
the second city library, vacated in 1968 when the library adjacent to
the Municipal Building was occupied. The second library has been con-
verted into a municipal court building.
FIRST PUBLIC LIBRARY
: -- -' V .





.. .................
GAINESVILLE CENTENNIAL COMMISSION
Mr. Alan Robertson, Chairman
Mr. S. David Cox
Dr. James M. Dell III
Mrs. Helen Cubberly Ellerbe
Mr. Louis C. Goolsby
Mr. Howard Hall
Mr. W. L. Kilpatrick
Mr. Norman LaCoe
Mr. Robert R. Lynch
Mr. T. B. McPherson
Dr. J. K. Mahon
Mrs. R. L. Tassinari
CIO