Yankeetown is a small village of about five hundred just upstream of where the Withlacoochee River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Known by many as the town where Elvis “followed that dream.'

The village was settled in 1923 by an Indiana lawyer and politician named Armanis F. Knotts.

 A.F. Knotts had settled in nearby Inglis and owned land downriver. Mr. Knotts built the Izaak Walton Lodge as a place for fishing fans to eat and sleep in comfort. The lodge was named for Izaak Walton, who was the famous author of the fishing classic “The Compleat Angler” that was written in England in the 1600s.

The lodge location as of 2019, is home of Blackwater Restaurant. This place has a relaxing view of the river and features seafood and hand carved steaks. The dining room has a beautiful view of the Withlacoochee River as it flows gently towards the Gulf of Mexico. If you are lucky you may spot Manatee’s as you eat.

Today Yankeetown is a commercial fishing town. The oak shaded streets are draped with Spanish moss and lined with examples of Old Florida cracker homes. The diverse rambling buildings and ancient trees remind you of how the whole State of Florida used to be before Yankees discovered it back in the day.

The tranquil town of Yankeetown came to life for a few weeks in 1961 when Elvis Presley and film crews came to town to make Elvis's 9th movie,” Follow that dream”

Much of the filming was done toward the end of County Road 40 just downstream of Yankeetown on the Bird Creek bridge which still stands today. You can walk over the bridge and think of Elvis. A section of the highway leading to Yankeetown was renamed “Follow That Dream Parkway” to honor the memory of those good old days.

Many local people were extras in the movie, and the local economy was helped a lot by the movie producers hiring locals to work on the sets.They labored converting local Pumpkin Island into a white sand beach and just being general workers and handy people on the set.

Yankeetown still makes its living from commercial and sport fishing activities, and town life is centered along Riverside Drive which parallels the north bank of the Withlacoochee River.

The town is a slice of serene Old Florida, but there was a time in the early 1960s when it was electrified by the presence of the King of Rock and Roll.