Following a whirlwind round-trip rural road trip, I looked back at the map and realized I’d driven through a bunch of places I’d never visited before. Not only had I never been to some of these counties, I had no idea why they’re called what they’re called.
So I looked ‘em up.
Lake County: Named for numerous lakes in the area.
Sumter County: Credit goes to General Thomas Sumter, a hero during the American Revolution.
Citrus County: Plenty of citrus groves here.
Levy County: Named for David Levy Yulee, founder of the Florida Railroad Company and America’s first Jewish United States senator.
Gilchrist County: Albert W. Gilchrist was Florida’s Governor from 1909 to 1913.
Dixie County: A common nickname for the South.
Lafayette County: The Marquis de Lafayette was a hero in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
Suwannee County: The Suwannee River nearly encircles the county.
Columbia County: A popular name in America, with roots in the name of Christopher Columbus.
Hamilton County: America’s first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton.
Baker County: James McNair Baker was a judge and Confederate senator.
Union County: A name that honors the concept of unity.
Bradford County: Captain Richard Bradford was the first Confederate officer from Florida to die in the Civil War.
Clay County: Henry Clay was a member of the United States Senate and America’s Secretary of State.
Putnam County: Named for Benjamin A. Putnam, a soldier in the First Seminole War and later a Florida legislator and first president of the Florida Historic Society.
Marion County: A hero of the American Revolutionary War, General Francis Marion hailed from South Carolina.