Florida: Levy County

Levy County (pop. 40,801) is on the Gulf of Mexico, south of Dixie County. It’s the only Levy County in the U.S.

Levy County in 1902

The county was named for David Levy (1810-1886), the first Jewish member of the U.S. Senate.

His family was of Moroccan origin.

The county seat of Levy County is the town of Bronson (pop 1,113).

Levy County Courthouse (1937)

The largest city in Levy County is Williston (pop. 2,768), home of Two Tails Ranch – an exotic animal refuge that currently has four elephants.

Tours are available.

The city of Fanning Springs (pop. 764) is on the Suwannee River. U.S. Highway 98 runs through town; the south side of the highway is in Levy County, and the north side is in Gilchrist County.

Fanning Springs State Park

South of Fanning Springs, on the Suwannee River, is Manatee Springs State Park, named for the manatees that are seen most often there in fall and winter.

Constant 72-degree temperature

Cedar Key (pop. 702) consists of several small islands in the Gulf of Mexico, reached via State Highway 24.

Known for its seafood restaurants

Cedar Key has been badly damaged by hurricanes, including Hurricane Easy (1950) and Hurricane Elena (1985).

Damage from an 1896 hurricane

Much of Elvis Presley’s 1962 movie “Follow That Dream” was filmed in the Levy County town of Inglis (pop. 1,325). Part of County Road 40 was renamed the “Follow That Dream Parkway” in honor of Elvis.

Inglis was again in the news in 2001 when the mayor issued a proclamation banning Satan from town. The proclamation was later rescinded.

NEXT: GILCHRIST COUNTY

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