The site of Lake City was a Seminole village named Alpata Telophka or Hvlpvtv Tvlofv, meaning "Alligator Village". By 1830, a Euro-American town called Alligator was established, adjacent to the Seminole town. The city was incorporated and changed to its current name in 1859. The name was changed because the mayor's wife, who had recently moved to the town, refused to hang her lace curtains in a town named Alligator. Local bodies of water include Lake DeSoto, Lake Isabella, Alligator Lake, Lake Hamburg, Gwen Lake, Lake Harper and Watertown Lake.
The American Civil War Battle of Olustee took place near Lake City in February 1864. It was the only major battle in Florida during the war. Union casualties were 1,861 men killed, wounded or missing; Confederate casualties were 946 killed, wounded or missing.
Southern Business & Development magazine has ranked Lake City | Columbia County number eight Best Small Market since 2000.
By the early 20th century, Lake City had become an important railroad junction, served by the Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Georgia Southern Line, and the Florida Railroad Line.
One of the four schools that formed the University of Florida was originally located in Lake City before consolidation to Gainesville in 1905.
By 1950 the population of Lake City was 7,467 people and forestry (turpentine, lumber, and pulpwood) had become a mainstay of the local economy.
In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed. This was a group of amateur radio operators that enjoyed the ability to communicate all over the world. Amateur radio is a hobby that attracts a wide range of people interested in all facets of radio communications. Involvement in amateur radio allows people to practice their public speaking skills as well as the advancement of one's knowledge of radio theory, electronics, and emergency management. This radio club still exists today.
Lake City's Centennial was celebrated in 1959 with parades, fireworks and a 58-page book documenting one hundred years of progress, “A Century in the Sun”. The citizens of the town dressed in period attire, complete with whiskers. A good-natured clash arose between the men with additional facial hair and the women who did not like it.
*This information was taken from Wikipedia as of October 2011.