- Union County
- Year Founded: 1893
Lake City was originally established as Alligator in 1824. It was named for an Indian chief, Halpatter Tustenugee, “alligator warrior,” of the Seminole Indian Tribe that inhabited the area at the time. Columbia County was formed in 1832 from a part of the original Alachua County with the Town of Alligator as the county seat. The city was renamed Lake City in 1859 when the early settlers became impatient with the name Alligator and sought a name more in keeping with their sense of appreciation of God’s good earth where they had come to establish their homes. The name was bestowed by a special act of the Florida Legislature, having been selected by Mrs. James M. Baker, wife of an early Lake City attorney. The name is in reference to the myriad of lakes that surround the city. The city has operated under the council-manager form of government since 1978. Lake City is the county seat.