Columbia County Courthouse
Columbia County Courthouse in Lake City
    Cities & Towns:
  • Fort White
  • Lake City

Columbia County is located in the center of northern Florida against the Georgia state line. Columbia County contains 797 square miles of land area and 4 square miles of water surface. Columbia County was founded on February 4, 1832 and the county seat is Lake City. The county is traversed east/west by Interstate 10 and northwest/southeast by Interstate 75.

In 1830, Lake City was a European settlement named Alligator that was right next to a Seminole village named Alligator. In 1859, Alligator was incorporated but the name was changed to Lake City. 1864 saw the Battle of Olustee take place nearby (in what is now Osceola National Forest). Olustee was the site of the largest confrontation between Union and Confederate forces in Florida, leaving 1,861 Union dead and 946 Confederates. For many years, the forestry industry (lumber, pulpwood, turpentine) was the main staple of the local economy.

In 1927, a Mr. du Mazuel discovered an underground cavern in Lake County with several pre-historic petrified bodies in it.