Micanopy is a town in Alachua County, Florida, United States. It is south of Gainesville. The population in the 2000 census was 653. As of 2004, the population according to the U.S. Census Bureau was 652.The old town of Micanopy is a historic district, and contains a number of antique stores, as well as a large used book store and a couple of restaurants. Micanopy is pronounced as if it were spelled mick-a-no-pee with the accent on the third syllable.
Micanopy was the first distinct United States town in Florida, with settlement beginning after Spain ceded the Florida territory in 1821. When explorer and naturalist William Bartram visited in 1774, it was the site of a Seminole village called Cuscowilla. Bartram's favorable writings about this fertile area influenced future generations of settlers. Named after a Seminole chief, the territorial town of Micanopy was built under the auspices of the Florida Association of New York (the earliest Florida development corporation, headquartered in New York City).Both Fort Defiance (1835–1836) and Fort Micanopy (1837–1843) were located here during the Second Seminole War. Some of the bloodiest battles of that war took place along the road southwest from Fort Micanopy to Fort Wacahoota, just inside modern Alachua County.
Micanopy's historic district was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1983. One of the town's founders, Moses E. Levy, is the subject of an acclaimed biography—Moses Levy of Florida: Jewish Utopian and Antebellum Reformer (2005). Micanopy has been used as a location for several major motion pictures including "Cross Creek" (1983) and "Doc Hollywood" (1991), and is mentioned in the hit country song "Seminole Wind". Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home, were she wrote "The Yearling" and Cross Creek is nearby. The house is now a museum.
Noted residents include the late zoologist and author, Archie Carr and his conservationist wife, Marjorie Harris Carr, who lived for many years at their home at Wewa Pond just outside Micanopy.
Micanopy hosts a large arts festival every autumn featuring many local (and distant) artists. The festival brings in a crowd much larger than the town's population from across Payne's Prairie in Gainesville and surrounding areas.
Micanopy is mentioned in the Tom Petty song "A Mind with a Heart of Its Own" from the album Full Moon Fever. Listen to the Song Here >
Micanopy is mentioned in the John Anderson song "Seminole Wind" from the album Seminole Wind. The song is covered by James Taylor on the album James Taylor Covers. Listen to Song Here >