History of Hawthorne

The City of Hawthorne evolved from a tiny settlement established around 1840. Daniel Morrison built his Grist Mill here attracting settlers, and so the roots of a community were firmly in place.

In 1880 the town was named "Hawthorn" in honor of James M. Hawthorn, a two-fisted Indian fighter who encouraged the growth of the town by giving the railroad land to run its line west of Johnson Lake.

Shortly after the town was incorporated in 1881, W. S. Moore opened a hotel to house and entertain hunters who came here from all over the country to enjoy the abundant hunting and fishing in the area. Moore's Hotel became one of the finest hotels in Florida and over 2,500 game birds would be served on the dinning room table in a single season. During this time, Hawthorn held out its hospitable hand of welcome to the health-seeker, praying for renewed vigor; to the sportsman in search of pleasure; to the capitalist seeking profitable investment; to the manufacturer looking for a desirable location; to the tiller of the soil in quest of land where everything would grow, and to the honest artisan wishing work to earn a livelihood.

Another gentleman responsible for the upbuilding of the town was F. J. Hammond, a broadminded and public spirited merchant and promoter of the city's best interests. He owned and operated two large stores that carried a splendid stock of goods unsurpassed in the country.

Thanks to these great men a very positive growth pattern had been established and a diversified economy was flourishing. Hawthorn continued to grow and prosper due to the fact it was not solely dependent upon the citrus culture like so many of the other towns in Florida at the turn of the century. Agricultural enterprises provided bountiful variety of foods to tempt even the most discriminating appetite.

Around 1940, Hawthorn's agricultural image began acquiring interest. An initial 15,000-acre acquisition was bolstered by an additional 40,000 acres, ten years later. Mayor Sid Martin added an "e" to Hawthorn that changed the spelling to what it is today ... Hawthorne.

Plywood manufacturing began in 1982 with the opening of a Georgia Pacific Plant. In 1986, the opening of a Miller's Shopping Center reinforced the existing quality of life. The City of Hawthorne and the Hawthorne Area Chamber of Commerce are planning for the future. The preservation of our natural beauty and the planned growth of our community coupled with the rapidly expanding job markets in Gainesville and Ocala will make Hawthorne one of the prime areas to reside for future generations.

Chamber Board of Directors

Chamber Officers:
Donna Boles, President - Hawthorne Insurance Agency, Inc.
Gwen Howard, Vice-President - Individual
Tammy Scott, Secretary - Hawthorne Insurance Agency, Inc.
Chris Carroll - CCC Travel Agency 

Board Members:

Candy Henry - Keystone Heights Animal Hospital

Danyel Hughes - Hughes Title & Escrow LLC 

Heather Surrency-Bristow - Watson Realty

Jennifer Phelps - West Networks

Kevin Lussier – Lussier Dairy

Michell Mulberry - Mulberrys Mobile Provider Services, LLC

Roy Wolfe - Individual

Melissa Stathas - Zap Management