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A postcard of the Columbia County Courthouse mailed in 1939.

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     Columbia County (the lyric name "Columbia" honors Columbus) was founded in 1832. The original county seat was the home of pioneer resident John W. Roberts in the village of Alligator. Early Columbia residents also attended court in Newnansville, the county seat of Alachua County (which, to add to the confusion, was briefly located within Columbia County during the 1830's), and one source also lists a temporary county seat at Lancaster, near Dowling Park in present-day Suwannee County. In 1859 the name "Alligator" was changed to Lake City, in recognition of several scenic lakes in the vicinity.A postcard of the Columbia County Courthouse mailed in 1927.The original name honors a Seminole war chief rather than the reptile itself - although Lake City was the original location of the University of Florida.

     The present Columbia County Courthouse, designed by architect Frank P. Milburn, was built in 1905. This view of the Columbia County Courthouse probably dates from the mid-1960's.The original construction included a cupola and dome which were later removed, but which are visible in some of these postcard views.  Numerous prior courthouses, most if not all constructed from logs, fell victim to arsonists in 1848, 1860, 1867, and 1874.

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