Perry
Population (2016)
7,045
Area (Square miles)
9.4
Year founded
1857
Year incorporated
1903
Known as the "Forest Capital of the South", Perry is situated in the midst of immense pine forests where logging and the timber industry are king - both historically and today. It is the only incorporated city in Taylor County.

Taylor County was created in 1856 by splitting the southern portion of Madison County into Taylor and Lafayette Counties. Almost immediately a site was chosen in the center of the new county as a county seat, and a courthouse was constructed from local timber. The new county seat went without a name until 1869 when a post office was established and the town was named Rosehead. The name was reportedly chosen because of the plentiful wild roses that could be found in the area. In 1875 the name was changed to Perrytown, after the fourth governor of Florida, Madison Stark Perry. A short time later, the name was shortened to just Perry.

Today, Perry is one of the largest cities in Florida's Nature Coast area, and is a bustling hub of commercial and industrial activity. Forest and timber products continue to be big business here. But a thriving tourism industry based around hunting and fishing is also present. The city has all the amenities you would expect to see in a business hub ... hotels, good restaurants, a medical center/hosptial, and a number of public parks and sports facilities.

To commemorate its importance in the lumber and timber industries, the Florida Forest Festival is held each October at Forest Capital Museum State Park, located just south of the city limits. The festival features a carnival, fireworks, the Miss Florida Forest Festival Queen pageant, arts and crafts show, a variety of lumberjack contests, and what is billed as the world's largest free fish fry. Also located at the state park is the Forest Capital Museum which celebrates the heritage of Florida's forest industry.

Perry and Forest Capital Museum State Park also host the Florida State Bluegrass Festival each April. The event features a chili cookoff and top bluegrass groups and musicians from all around the state.
Getting there ...
Additional resources