- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Gilchrist County
Gilchrist County, Florida’s 67th, was created on December 4, 1925 making it the youngest and smallest county in Florida. It was named for Albert W. Gilchrist, Governor of Florida from 1909 to 1913. It is considered a rural county with less than 17,000 residents. The county seat is Trenton. The other two towns include Bell and Fanning Springs, which it shares with Levy County. Starting in 1903 a train that served Bell was called Peggy, either from a name applied by a local resident with the subsequent expression, “He’s too slow to catch Peggy,” or because of a peg-leg conductor that people called “Peg.” The Bell depot there was built around 1905. The railroad did much to develop communities along its route and was the main way to move timber, farm products, and lime rock to markets. In time, a diesel engine replaced Peggy’s steam engine until it finally became unprofitable to run the train. The railroad that had served Bell and Wannee so well for so many years no longer operates, but long-time residents have many fond memories of their “Peggy.” The depot now serves as the city offices and town meeting place. The town and natural spring, both with the name Fanning (or Fannin) Springs are in the southwestern corner of Gilchrist County and the northwestern part of Levy County at a horseshoe bend in the Suwannee River, it’s one of only three towns in Florida to be in more than one county. It was there that Fort Fanning was built in November, 1838, during the Seminole Indian War (1835-1842) and named for Major Alexander Campbell Winder Fannin (or Fanning), who had served with Andrew Jackson in Florida. It was built to protect a much-used crossing of the Suwannee. There is only one traffic light in the entire county, located in the center of Trenton. Country music singer Easton Corbin was born and raised in rural Gilchrist County, Florida, Easton remembered wanting to be a country singer as early as three or four years old.