By Mike Miller Updated April 21, 2023
Newberry, Florida is a town of about 6,000 people located in Alachua County 18 miles west of Gainesville.
Newberry is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and State Road 26 about 8 miles west of Interstate 75.
Newberry was founded in the late 1880s to serve the needs of the new phosphate mining activities in the area.
It began to grow when the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway extended their line south from High Springs to Newberry.
The town prospered because of phosphate mining. It had fourteen mines in the area and hotels, boarding houses, restaurants and saloons.
Like many boom towns it had its moments of lawlessness.
The early history of Newberry was turbulent and marked by several incidents of racial violence. Most of these happened between 1891 and 1926.
Newberry began to decline in 1914 when World War One began.
Germany had been the biggest customer for the phosphate from the mines and trade with our German enemy was not permitted.
Although Newberry exists as a distinct rural town, it is close enough to Gainesville that it is beginning to attract development.
Residential subdivisions attract commuters who work in Gainesville but like the quiet of Newberry.
The Newberry city limit boundaries have bounced all over the place as they include these new developments within the city to provide utility and other services.
The compact downtown area includes shops, markets, restaurants, government offices, Newberry High School, churches and all the other things you expect in a small self sufficient city.
Newberry has two of the largest baseball and softball tournament facilities in the country. Champions Park and the Easton-Newberry Sports Complex.
There is also a large archery competition complex and various training programs.
Another popular activity in Newberry is off road motorcycle riding at Gatorback Cycle Park.
The Newberry Historic District is a 400 acre area in Newberry that contains 48 historic buildings.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is one of the buildings in this district. It was built in 1909 and is used now as a museum and city government offices.
A popular attraction in Newberry is Dudley Farm Historic State Park. It's a museum and historic district that is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
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By Mike Miller, Copyright 2009-2023
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