Last updated: 4/26/2018
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Hamilton County FL
Hamilton County is a dominantly rural community in north central Florida with a unique geographical characteristics. It is often described as a peninsula within a peninsula, as two rivers separate this county from the rest of Florida: the Withlacoochee River on the west and the Suwannee River to the east and south.
Equally fascinating, the Alapaha River flowing across Hamilton disappears underground at certain times of the year. Because of this phenomenon when the waterway becomes a dry, sandy riverbed, it is also otherwise called the “River of Sand.”
Hamilton County was established in 1827, with its total area of 519 square miles drawn from Jefferson County. It was named after Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary. The city of Jasper is the county seat of Hamilton which also has two towns in its jurisdiction White Springs and Jennings, plus 11 unincorporated communities. The state of Georgia notably borders Hamilton toward north.
Two major highways—Interstate 75 and Interstate 10—run across Hamilton County, thus making it conveniently close to the major urban centers of Jacksonville and Gainesville as well as state capital Tallahassee.
Historic Points of Interest
Hamilton County is best known for its long-running annual folk music festival. Held specifically in the town of White Springs, this event is not only a celebration of music. It also features traditional Florida food, dance, stories and art in a four-day event typically scheduled each May at the town’s 888-acre Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. White Springs likewise takes pride in the town’s original Victorian buildings at its historic district.
Bits of history are hallmarks too for the Hamilton county seat Jasper which is home to the Old Hamilton County Jail and the United Methodist Church, which are on the National Register of Historic Places. All told, the county has more than 150 sites and structures in the U.S. historic places registry.
A River’s Gem
Hamilton County also prides itself as the “Jewel of the Suwannee,” given the many outdoor recreational activities that could be enjoyed in the environs of the Suwannee River. These delights include canoeing or kayaking, fishing, hiking camping, hunting, and horse riding.
Phosphate mining, largely based in Jasper, is one of the largest industries and top private employer in Hamilton County. The other industries serving as economic drivers of the county include healthcare, agriculture, trade, transportation, and utilities.
Schools and Homes
The Hamilton County School District operates several public elementary schools in the county. The sole high school is Hamilton County High, but alternatives on secondary as well as tertiary education can be easily accessed with Hamilton convenient to the urban population centers of its neighboring counties.
Home buyers looking for a largely rural area will sure love Hamilton County, with its rustic setting and low population density. The county’s residents number just a bit under 15,000 within households of only about 5,400. Homeownership in the county is high though at over 75 percent.
Loaded with genuine Southern charm, Hamilton County offers choices on single family homes and condos which are more affordably priced compared with Florida’s median home prices.