History Happened Here

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Alachua County

Year Founded: 1837


Dr. Payne, a Virginian, established a settlement at the present site in 1835 and the government there established a military post in 1837. Near this site had stood the Spanish Mission of Santa Ana. White colonists reached the area in 1817 to settle on a land grant of 290,000 acres owned by Don Fernando de la Maza Arredondo of Cuba. The town was named after Mikanope, Chief of the Seminole Indians at the beginning of the Seminole War of 1835. The name itself signifies “chief of chiefs.” There is also a folklore account, which names the community for a slow-pay Irish merchant – “Micky-no-pay.” Still another twist on the name is that the trader told an Indian creditor, “Me can no pay.”

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