Madison Florida was founded by cotton planters in 1838.
Cotton was king in the old south. This northern region of Florida was part of the old south and still has many southern cultural traditions.
Madison was a boom town in those days, and still has a population today of about 3,000.
It is a regional agricultural center, and was named by Visit Florida as one of the "Best Little Towns In Florida".
The land that became the town of Madison was originally owned by Madison C. Livingston. Even though Mr. Livingston was the first major landowner, most historical sources say that Madison County and the town of Madison were both named for former President James Madison.
In the days before and during the Civil War, Madison raised long staple cotton and had the biggest long stable cotton gin. Things were great for the planters until the boll weevil arrived in 1916 and wiped out the entire cotton industry. The memories of those glory days can be seen in a park on the south side of town near the railroad station. The oldest house in town was built in 1849 and is still occupied.
St. Mary's Episcopal Church is an historic Carpenter Gothic Episcopal church located at 108 Northwest Horry Street in Madison. It is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and was completed in 1881.
The Wardlaw-Smith-Goza house in Madison is a large mansion built just before the American Civil War. It served as a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers.
Four Freedoms Park in downtown Madison has a monument dedicated to Colin Kelley, a Madison County native, who is recognized as the first American hero of World War Two. He was killed fighting the Japanese a few days after Pearl Harbor and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his skill and bravery in aerial combat.
Downtown Madison is a busy little place with many gift shops, antique stores and restaurants.
MADISON, FLORIDA RESTAURANTS
O'Neal's Country Buffet
558 W Base St, Madison, FL 32340-2062
Great southern cooking.
The Unity House B&B
307 SW Dade Street, Madison, FL 32340
THINGS TO DO IN MADISON
Treasures of Madison County at 200 SW Range Avenue in Madison is a small museum that has exhibits about the history of the county. Tel: 850 973 3661