About This Place
Cedar Key is a city in Levy County, Florida, United States. The population was 790 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2005, the city had a population of 958. The Cedar Keys are a cluster of islands close to the mainland. Most of the developed area of the city has been on Way Key since the end of the 19th century. The Cedar Keys are named for the Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, which once grew abundantly in the area.
While evidence suggests human occupation as far back as 500 BC, the first maps of the area date to 1542, at which point it was labeled "Las Islas Sabines" by a Spanish cartographer. An archaeological dig at Shell Mound, 9 miles (14 km) north of Cedar Key, found artifacts dating back to 500 BC in the top 10 feet (3.0 m) of the 28-foot-tall (8.5 m) mound. The only ancient burial found in Cedar Key was a 2,000-year-old skeleton found in 1999.
Arrow heads and spear points dating from the Paleo period (12,000 years old) were collected by Cedar Key historian St. Clair Whitman and are displayed at the Cedar Key Museum State Park.