Worthington Springs is a spring and town in Union County, Florida, United States. The population was 193 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2004 estimates, the town had a population of 199.
|Worthington Springs, Florida|
Location in Union County and the state of Florida
The community was named for early settler Sam Worthington, who arrived prior to the first Seminole War of 1814-1819. The mineral spring on the Santa Fe River was alleged to have medicinal benefits, attracting people from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. In the early years, swimming was segregated, with men and women assigned specific time intervals. In 1906, the new owner constructed a 12'x12' concrete box around the spring to divert water into a 90'x50' concrete pool with a wall dividing the bathing area into sections for men and women. The complex included a hotel, recreation hall and bathhouse for the spring pool.
Independence Day was always a big celebration at the springs. Thousands of people from surrounding communities would converge on the springs to picnic, swim, politic and converse with friends and fellow Floridians. A special train transported people from Jacksonville for the holiday festivities. An iron and timber bridge was built across the river in 1908, facilitating access to and from the south. It was replaced in 1937 with the present concrete structure. In the mid-twentieth century, the outflow from the spring declined, and then stopped flowing completely. Activity at the resort likewise curtailed, and the facility was abandoned. The area around the Santa Fe river is subject to periodic flooding, just as the flow at the spring varies widely. In 1972, flow was measured at 233,280 gallons per day.
Worthington Springs was incorporated in 1963 with a Mayor–council government. Street lights were installed, and a playground was created in the town park. In 1975, a Community Center was built the included government offices for a City Hall.