All that Remains of Half Moon


Half Moon School | Alachua County, FL | c. early 1900s

Sometime around 1900, the people of a small community called Half Moon decided it was time to build a proper school building for the community children to learn in.

Despite their rural location, they wanted to give their children the best chance they could at education outside of the home and farm. And as well-laid as their plan might’ve been, the outside world would impinge on this community the same as it would the rest of this country.

An economy would collapse. A depression would take hold. Life as they knew it must’ve changed in ways we can’t imagine today.

But after this point, the records I’ve found of the community of Half Moon dry up, except for a photo of a sinkhole that suddenly plugged up and turned into a pond at Half Moon. Noted geologist, Elias Howard Sellards visited Half Moon in 1914 for part of a statewide research study on the sinkholes of Florida when he created the photograph.

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Photo taken in 1914 by Elias Howard Sellards, courtesy of the Florida Memory Project.

It seems that this schoolhouse sat empty and unused in the former community of Half Moon until 1991 when it was relocated to its present site in Gainesville where it was restored. You can visit it for yourself at the Half Moon School at the Morningside Nature Center in Gainesville. The school is available for public visits during park hours (exterior only).

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