Cross City
Population (2016)
1,710
Area (Square miles)
1.9
Year founded
Abt 1890
Year incorporated
1924
Dixie County is probably the most remote, sparsely populated county in Florida. Cross City, with a population of less than 2,000 people, is the largest town in the county. Historically, Cross City has always been a logging community - cutting, processing, and shipping cypress and yellow pine. Lumber companies and sawmills were a mainstay of activity, and still are today. Its location amidst large tracts of forest land, along with a bustling US19/US98 highway that bisects the town, continue to support the industry.

The area was first settled in the late 1890's and went by the name "Crossroads" because it was the place where two important trade route roads crossed. In 1912, Dixie County was created from Lafayette County, and Crossroads was renamed to "Cross City" and became the county seat.

In the early 1920's, Putnam Lumber Company established a town called "Shamrock" just outside of Cross City. The company erected a massive saw mill, and developed a community around the mill to house workers. In adition to houses, there was an ice house and a full-service company store where workers could buy anything they needed. The lumber business in Shamrock also spurred development in Cross City.

In 1927, Putnam constructed the Putnam Lodge in order to accommodate company executives and clients, as well as tourists and people passing by on the highway. It is said that the famous gangster Al Capone maintained a room at the lodge during the late 1920's. Today, the lodge has been completely restored, and is open to the public as a high-end hotel and spa.

Cross City is also home to one of the oldest airports in Florida, established in 1940. In 1942, the airport was requisitioned by the United States Air Force as an army airfield during World War II. After the war, the airport returned to civilian control, and is called the Cross City Airport.

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