Gilchrist County Courthouse located in Trenton
Nestled in North Central Florida, Gilchrist County offers rural tranquility within proximity to the metropolitan areas of Gainesville and Jacksonville. The county covers 355 square miles. Gilchrist County is Florida’s newest county, created in 1925 and named after the state’s governor from 1909 to 1913, Albert W. Gilchrist. The county has a number of historic buildings. Bell is a small town that was named after a beauty contest winner. Trenton is the county seat. Fanning Springs was once the site of a military installation, Fort Fanning. The county was the home of farms and timber industries. The railroad (now long gone) came to Gilchrist County, and many stores and restaurants sprung up around it. Real estate in Gilchrist County has multiplied significantly in recent years. Gilchrist County home buyers appreciate the area’s small town feel and relaxed pace.
Gilchrist County is home to a number of natural springs, and is the “Springs Capital of the World”. There are many places for residents and visitors to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoe/kayaking, boating, fishing or just relaxing in a peaceful natural setting.
Trenton (the county seat)
The City of Trenton is now planning for the future as new residents, visitors, and businesses arrive in our community. When you visit Trenton, you will want to visit our famous antique shops as well as novelty shops and dine in some of our quaint restaurants, where the home cooked food is excellent and fellowship is enjoyed with some down home folks. Trenton is a rural area and is the hometown of country music singer Easton Corbin.
As for recreational opportunities, a bike and hiking trail is located in the downtown area by the Old Trenton Train Depot, which is a historic landmark. The trail is a scenic route to Manatee State Park, with its abundant wildlife. At the State Park, manatees can be observed along with boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and picnic areas or a cruise along the famous Suwannee River.
Welcome to “Fanning” or “Fannin Springs”! Both are the names of the local town and famous natural springs located on the Suwannee River, in the SW corner of Gilchrist County, Florida.
This natural spring in Florida is popular with tourists and locals year round, but is especially nice in the summer months as a place to cool off from the hot temperatures. The town is one of just three in Florida that sit on the border of Gilchrist and Levy and is also home to the Historically important “Fort Fanning” which was built in 1836 during the Second Seminole War.
|Average Daily Temperature||HIGH||LOW||AVERAGE|
|Rainfall in inches||54.12|
|Snowfall in inches||0|
|Wind speed (Miles Per Hour)||18.25|
|Number of sunny/partly sunny||225|
|Elevation (Mean Feet Above Sea Level)||Average57|
Welcome to the Town of Bell!
About the Town
Best known for its friendly southern hospitality and small town atmosphere, the Town of Bell is the second largest town in Gilchrist County, with a population of just under 500 residents. The town is located about 30 miles west of Gainesville, and just east of the beautiful, historic Suwannee River.
Founded in the early 1890’s, and incorporated in the early 1900’s, the town got it’s name from a beauty contest winner, Bell Fletcher, when her name was given to the first post office and the train depot, as part of the contest prize.
In 1903, a railroad was built through Bell and would serve as the primary transportation for shipping timber, lime rock, farm products, and other commodities to market. The train was called “Peggy” and ran every day leaving Starke, Florida, early in the morning, passing through Brooker, La Crosse, Alachua, and Bell, on its route to Wannee at the Suwannee River. It would turn around and return to Starke the same day. The train depot was built around 1905, and W.C. Cocke was it’s first telegraph agent in 1907. The restored historic depot now serves as the Bell Town Hall.
The Bell school, which originated with one class room and one teacher for all grades, has grown to become one of the best schools in the State of Florida. In fact, the Gilchrist County School District was the only one of the state’s 67 school systems to get an A grade in all of its schools this year and it’s the first and only straight-A district in the history of Florida’s school grades. A number of Bell graduates have returned after College to bring their skills back to serve the community where they grew up.
There is a lot of rich history in and around Bell. Many of the descendants of the founding fathers and local residents are happy to share some fond memories and tales of the good ole’ days.
We hope your visit with us is enjoyable and we look forward to spending time with each of you.