NAME: Island Grove
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
Small population of about 250. Located in the souteastern part of Alachua County. Ten miles south of Hawthorne off Highway 301 on SR 325.
REMAINS: Old Methodist Church, Clayton General Store, Large Fruitpacking house on the RR, Crosby Home, assorted craker homes
|W.J. Moore established the community in 1882 and created the first Post Office February 17, 1884. Moore was the first postmaster. The area was a large fruit shipping point from the local groves owned by G.R Fairbanks, J. Adger, and Clark and Joe Blake. The name came from the fact that the area is almost like an island in that lakes, ponds, and creeks literally surround the area. Originally the Florida Railway & Navigation Co. and the Peninsular Railroad were the only ways in and out. The town had a population of about 400 with a graded public school, telephones, Baptist and Methodist Churches, and a large packing plant on the Railroad. Later resident names, about 1925, were postmaster W.J Evans, B.L. Clayton; grocery owner. T.J Johnson was the railroad express and telephone agent. Mrs. N.P Moore sold doft drinks, and William Evans sold stationery. Real Estate was sold by Charles Slater and Charles H. Slater sold meats and was a truck grower. Other truck growers were H.M. Baker, J.A. Brice, H.V. Cassels, and S.D. Prince. The Justice of the Peace was W.J. Crosby. There also was a freshwater fishing industry with fishermen such as H. Boyles, D.O. Howard and W.P Howard. The Antioch Cemetery nearby is the final resting place of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings of "Cross Creek" fame. Rawlings was the author of the "Yearling". The Crosby House is renovated but was once a "dog trot" design. The owners have tried to keep the home as close to the original as possible and still be livable in Florida. The Old Methodist Church was destined to be torn down when the current owner of the Crosby House stepped in and bought the land in order that the old structure could remain. Submitted by: Mike Woodfin