/gaynz"vil/, n.1. a city in N Florida. 81,371.2. a city in N Georgia. 15,280.3. a city in N Texas. 14,081.
* * *city, seat (1853) of Alachua county, north-central Florida, U.S., about 70 miles (115 km) southwest of Jacksonville. The Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto (Soto, Hernando de) marched through the area in 1539, and settlement eventually developed around a trading post known as Hog Town (established 1830). In 1853 the city was laid out as the county seat and named for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, a commander during the War of 1812 (1812, War of). Gainesville was the site of some minor battles (1864) of the American Civil War and was temporarily occupied by Union forces. After the war, citrus and cotton growing and phosphate mining became important in the area, but these activities had ceased by the end of World War I.The University of Florida (Florida, University of) (1905) has played a major role in the city's growth, and it remains the primary factor in the economy. Tourism and services (notably health care) are also important. The area still has some agriculture, including corn (maize), tobacco, and peanuts (groundnuts). Santa Fe Community College was opened there in 1966. Gainesville's cultural institutions include a symphony orchestra, ballet company, and other music, theatre, and dance ensembles. The Florida Museum of Natural History and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art are on the university campus. The home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan) is preserved as a state historic site about 12 miles (20 km) southeast of the city. Parks in the area include Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site, Paynes Prairie State Preserve, and San Felasco Hammock State Preserve. Ocala National Forest is about 25 miles (40 km) southeast. Nearby is Newnans Lake. Inc. 1869. Pop. (1990) city, 84,770; Gainesville MSA, 181,596; (2000) city, 95,447; Gainesville MSA, 217,955.city, seat (1823) of Hall county, northeastern Georgia, U.S., about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Atlanta. It is located along Lake Sidney Lanier (which is impounded by Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River), in the foothills of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Settled in 1818, it was named for General Edmund P. Gaines, who served in the War of 1812. Gainesville was heavily damaged and many lives were lost in tornadoes in 1903 and 1936, the latter leaving the city virtually flattened. Both times the city recovered rapidly. Large-scale poultry raising was introduced after World War II and became one of the chief components of the local economy.Poultry has remained important, but the economy also has diversified. Manufactures include textiles and apparel, industrial machinery, and automotive parts. Gainesville is the site of Brenau University (1878, originally for women), the Riverside Military Academy (1907), and Gainesville (junior) College (opened 1966). It serves as headquarters for both Oconee and Chattahoochee national forests. Inc. 1821. Pop. (1990) 17,885; (2000) 25,578.
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