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Cedar Key

Trip Planner USA  /  Florida  /  Cedar Key
(4.2/5 based on 1,000+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: museums, adventure, wildlife areas
Cedar Key is a city in Levy County, Florida, United States. The population was 702 at the 2010 census. The Cedar Keys are a cluster of islands near the mainland. Most of the developed area of the city has been on Way Key since the end of the 19th century. The Cedar Keys are named for the Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, once abundant in the area.HistoryEarlyWhile evidence suggests human occupation as far back as 500 BC, the first maps of the area date to 1542, when it was labeled "Las Islas Sabines" by a Spanish cartographer. An archaeological dig at Shell Mound, 9mi north of Cedar Key, found artifacts dating back to 500 BC in the top of the 28ft mound. The only ancient burial found in Cedar Key was a 2,000-year-old skeleton found in 1999.Arrow heads and spear points dating from the Paleo period (12,000 years old) were collected by Cedar Key historian St. Clair Whitman and are displayed at the Cedar Key Museum State Park.The Cedar Keys were used by Seminole Indians, by the Spanish as a watering stop for ships returning to Spain from Mexico, and by pirates, such as Jean Lafitte and Captain Kidd.Followers of William Augustus Bowles, self-declared "Director General of the State of Muskogee," built a watchtower in the vicinity of Cedar Key in 1801. The tower was destroyed by a Spanish force in 1802.
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