Fanning Springs
Population (2016)
Area (Square miles)
Year founded
Year incorporated
During the Seminole Wars a fort was built and named "Fort Fanning" after Major Alexander Campbell Fanning, who fought with Andrew Jackson against the Indians. The fort protected an important crossing point of the Suwannee River, but was only occupied for a few years. A small settlement called Palmetto, and later Sikesville, grew up around it.

A post office was established there in the late 1840's, but discontinued in 1852. It was reinstated and closed several times over the next few decades, but finally re-established in 1888 as the "Fannin" post office.

In the early days of the settlement, a ferry was used to cross the Suwannee River. Eventually a wooden turnbridge was built, which was replaced in 1935 by a steel bridge. When the highway was improved and widened to four lanes, a new concrete bridge was erected. Fanning Springs was also a busy landing for steamboats that navigated the Suwannee River from Cedar Key all the way to White Plains.

In 1965, the State of Florida incorporated the town, which occupied area in both Gilchrist and Levy Counties, and it was named "Suwannee River". But confusion with the town of "Suwannee", located at the mouth of the river, caused voters to officially rename the town "Fanning Springs" to avoid confusion.

The town's main attraction is Fanning Springs, classified a second-magnitude spring, which is protected as Fanning Springs State Park. There is also a trailhead for the Nature Coast State Trail, a 32 mile long multi-use trail that extends from Chiefland, in Levy County, to Cross City, in Dixie County.

The original site of Fort Fanning along the Suwannee River is designated as a city park. The gate of the fort has been reconstructed along with a small section of stockade.
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