Archer began as a frontier village in the 1840s, and the railroad came to the city in 1859. William Emory “Hitup” Maddox started Maddox Foundry & Machine Works in 1905, and his descendants still operate the businesses – which is Archer’s main employer. Named after Florida’s first secretary of state, Archer maintains small-town charm, historic character and memories of the railroad that connected the city to commerce and opportunity. Just over 1,000 people call 6.9 square miles of space their home. Santa Fe College’s satellite campus provides higher education opportunities to both Archer and southwest Alachua County residents. Residents and visitors can peruse through Archer’s history at the Archer Railroad Museum or visit the variety of stores that line Main Street. During the first week of June, Archer hosts the annual Yulee Railroad Days, a lively festival featuring local history reenactments, a model train show, a special museum exhibit, sporting events and family friendly activities. The festival is held in honor of Archer’s founder, David Levy Yulee, who named the town and first brought trains to it. Notable people who have lived here include Bo Diddley, rock and roll legend, and Thomas Gilbert Pearson, a founder of the national association of Audubon Societies, which became the National Audubon Society. There are still a number of lovely historic homes in Archer, which date back to 1890 and earlier. The historic railroad town of Archer lies southwest of Gainesville. It’s located on the western edge of Alachua County, and U.S. 27 passes through the city.
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