Chiefland, Florida

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Chiefland is a city in Levy County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,993 in the 2000 census. and was estimated at 2,095 in 2005. Chiefland calls itself the "Gem of the Suwannee Valley" and was incorporated in 1929.

Contents

History

A village of the Timucua was once located south of the present city and at Manatee Springs. The area's economy was traditionally based on agriculture, primarily farming (corn, watermelons, hay); ranching (cattle, hogs); dairy (milk); timber (pulpwood, lumber, turpentine) and aquaculture (fishing, oystering, crabbing).

Attractions

Manatee Springs State Park is located six miles (10 km) west of town and the crystal-clear water is a first magnitude spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River. The park offers a full slate of activities, including camping. Manatees can be seen in the spring year-round, but especially in late Fall and Winter, where the constant 72°F (23°C) temperature of the spring is much warmer than river water.

Commerce

Chiefland is located in the Northwest corner of the county, where Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties adjoin (known as the Tri-County area). As growth in north Florida increased during the last quarter of the twentieth century, Chiefland became a regional center for shopping. A 202,000 sq ft (18,800 m2) Walmart Supercenter was opened in 1995, and increased traffic along US 19/98 support a variety of national fast food franchises plus Best Western and Holiday Inn Express motels. Georgia-Pacific operated a mill in Chiefland from 1955-1978 which was a large employer. Agriculture is still a major factor in the local economy, but there has been a big shift to a service economy. There are three incarceration facilities in the area: Cross City Correctional Institution & Work Camp; Lancaster Correctional Institution & Work Camp; and Levy Forestry Camp. They provide a total of over 800 jobs.[3]

Progress Energy Florida (PEF) is moving forward with its plan to build two nuclear power plants in southern Levy County costing between $5–7 billion on the east side of U.S. Highway 19, north of Inglis.[4]

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,993 people, 796 households, and 511 families residing in the city. The population density was 196.8/km² (509.5/mi²). There were 931 housing units at an average density of 91.9/km² (238.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.36% White, 34.27% African American, 0.65% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.76% of the population.

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