311 State Road 26, Melrose, FL 32666

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Gainesville, Florida

The Gainesville/Alachua County area is the nation's best place to live, according to Money Magazine, September 1995. For six consecutive years, it has been tapped as Florida's most livable city and has ranked among the leaders in the nation.

Situated in the heart of beautiful North Central Florida, the Gainesville area basks in Gulf breezes that make summer days warm and nights cool, and produce dry and mild winters. Gainesville is the governmental seat of Alachua County, as well as the commercial hub for the entire North Central Florida area. A delight for nature lovers, 65 percent of the county's 969 square miles is a wilderness of forests, dotted with scenic lakes and wetlands.

The University of Florida sets the area's tone in education, cultural arts and sports. The university's cultural facilities include the impressive 1,800-seat Center for the Performing Arts. The university significantly impacts the local economy as Alachua County's largest employer.

Health care is a strong second industry serving all of North Central Florida and beyond. Other economic influences include high tech research, environmental engineering and agriculture.


Melrose is located some 60 miles south of Jacksonville and 20 miles east of Gainesville, home to the University of Florida. Melrose, along with its neighbors Keystone Heights and Hawthorne are known for their many fine freshwaters lakes and stately oaks.

An easy commute for Gainesville professionals, the area is also attractive to active retirees who seek the nearly perfect climate for year-round activities that include fishing, sailing, skiing, golfing or just sitting back and watching the sunset over six-mile Lake Santa Fe.  Melrose has many historic properties on the National register for their historic and architectural value. Actually, it has 72 sites on the register and since 1988, Historic Melrose, Inc. was formed to preserve those properties with significant historic value. The Melrose Historic District was formed in 1990 for that purpose.

Keystone Heights

The early years of the Florida land boom saw the development of a town originally called Brooklyn. But in 1922, J. J. Lawrence, of Pittsburgh, Pa., settled there and was responsible for the adoption of the present name in honor of his home state, which is called the "Keystone State." The City of Keystone Heights was incorporated in 1925.  Calling itself the "Home of good water," Keystone Heights is indeed blessed by nature with a multitude of lakes, making it a paradise for fishermen, boaters, swimmers, campers, picnickers or those simply looking a beautiful place to rest and live in the sun. Keystone Heights is 48 miles southwest of Jacksonville on State Road 21. It is truly a "commuters town," since many of the residents commute daily to work within a 50 mile radius.

In 1998 the City of Keystone Heights was designated by the Governor's Rural Economic Development Council as the "Outstanding Rural Community in Florida". A sign of the City appeal is when you say you are from Keystone Heights and hear most people respond with: "it's such a pretty place".


Hawthorne is known as "A Sportman's Paradise." It is located at the intersection of U.S. 301 and State Rt. 20, just 20 miles east of Gainesville and 30 miles north of Ocala (Thoroughbred horse country). People enjoy the beautiful lakes in Hawthorne and regularly visit the many fish camps. For the nature enthusiast there is a walking, bicycling and horseback riding State Trail which stretches 17 miles from Gainesville to Hawthorne. A golf course and RV park has recently opened.

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311 State Road 26, Melrose, FL 32666

Fax: 352.475-5005

Email: c21lakeside@gator.net