Founded around the time that Florida was ceded to the United States, this is one of the oldest cemeteries in central Florida.
The town of Micanopy was settled at the start of the 1820s on the location of an early Indian community that the American naturalist William Bartram visited around 1774. Florida became part of the US in 1821 and what would become Micanopy Cemetery was likely established about the same time. The oldest marker with a visible date on it is dated 1826. The Micanopy Historic Cemetery Association considers that to be the date of its establishment though it’s possible that burials began earlier.
It’s believed that the cemetery was founded by a H. Lucious Montgomery Sr., a Micanopy doctor. Later, in 1897, the cemetery land was deeded to the cemetery trustees in 1897 by Dr. and Mrs. Lucious Montgomery. In 1905, the trustees turned over the deed to the town and created the Micanopy Cemetery Association. Today it’s named the Micanopy Historic Cemetery Association and they remain active in tending to the cemetery.
The town and cemetery have been through many periods of conflict. There were multiple skirmishes between the Seminoles and the US Army who was driving the Seminoles from the Florida Territory. In conducting the Second Seminole War (1835–1842), the Army drove the Seminoles south into the Everglades or rounded them up and forced them to march to what is today Oklahoma.
During the war, Fort Defiance (1835–1836) and Fort Micanopy (1837–1843) were established in the area though it’s unclear as to where they were located, as they were temporary wooden structures. Archeological research has shown that the Battle of Welika Pond (1836) was fought on adjacent property to the cemetery.
During the US Civil War, the Confederacy took away the few young men in the area, while some of the older men joined the 1st Florida Special Cavalry Battalion (informally known as the Cow Cavalry) for the run of the war. Several of the veterans of the Civil War are buried in the center along with other veterans from later wars.
There are about 2000 interments in the cemetery, some of which are unmarked. As of 2020, the small cemetery is nearly out of room for new burials. The Micanopy Historic Cemetery Association has hopes to expand but part of the available land is where the Battle of Welika Pond was fought.
The Micanopy Historical Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.