Walton history

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Learn about shipwrecks at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park March 15

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Florida Public Archaeology Network on March 15, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Come learn about the shipwrecks that have been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico and the unique stories surrounding each wreck. This program is free with regular park admission.  A $6.00 entry admission per vehicle into the park. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information,...

Chautauqua Assembly returns to DeFuniak Springs Jan. 24 – 27, 2019

Florida Chautauqua’s Assembly 2019 takes place from Thursday, January 24 through Sunday, January 27th with most activities centered on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th.  The website www.floridachautauquaassembly.org details all of the program offerings which evolve around the theme and the four pillars of Chautauqua which include art, recreation, religion and education.  This year’s theme is a focus on Main Street America. Registration forms for the Assembly can be found online along with ticket information.  Tickets can be purchased...

Learn about WWII and its connection to South Walton at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Jan. 12

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Coffeen Nature Preserve on January 12, 2018 from 10 – 11 a.m. Come learn about the connection between Coffeen Nature Preserve, Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and WWII. This program is free with regular park admission. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida...

U.S. Hwy. 331 from Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge to State Road 20 slated to open July 6

The U.S. 331 widening project between the Choctawhatchee Relief Bay Bridge and State Road 20 in Walton County will reach a milestone on Wednesday, July 6 when all four lanes of traffic will be open to drivers. Work to widen 4.6 miles of the roadway from two to four lanes began fall 2012 and is scheduled to be complete late summer 2016. Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures as crews complete punch list items. Construction activities are weather dependent and...

Historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve Sept. 30

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, are offering the fall season of their popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County. Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.”...

Historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve Sept. 9

Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), in partnership with Northwest Florida State College, are offering the fall season of their popular eco-tourism initiative, Eco Adventures of Walton County. Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing. The 220-acre Nature Preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.”...

South Walton pioneer C.H. McGee known as Mr. Seagrove

By Carol McCrite Note: This story was originally published in the historical book The Way We Were – Recollections of South Walton Pioneers by South Walton Three Arts Alliance. Republished with permission. “Seagrove Beach – Where Nature Did Its Best.” C.H. McGee, Sr. (known to friends as McGee) coined the phrase to describe his personal feelings about the magnificent piece of gulf front land he purchased from J.R. Moody in 1949. The 18-month campaign to acquire 160 acres of pristine...

The Point Washington alligator trapper

By DeLene Sholes Note: This story was originally published in the historical book Of Days Gone By – Reflections of South Walton County, Florida by South Walton Three Arts Alliance. Republished with permission. You may find a copy of the book that includes many short stories about our area’s colorful history at the Coastal Branch Library. Long ago, when it was legal to trap alligators, and sometimes when it wasn’t, Point Washington native George Morgan and his father-in-law, Alfred Barrett,...

School bell on display at Freeport City Hall has long history

By Freeport historian Beckie Buxton Have you ever noticed the old school bell displayed in front of Freeport’s City Hall? If you are new to the Freeport area, perhaps you have wondered whey it is so prominently displayed. Those who attended the old Freeport School, circa 1908-1942 will recognize it as the bell that was once mounted in front of the old two-story wooden school building. The school housed grades one through ten and stood where the Freeport Middle School...

The legend of Euchee Indian Chief Sam Story

Could it be an Euchee (Yuchi) Indian chief named Sam Story was the earliest known conservationist in Walton county? Our history books tell us so, however some traditions handed down may be simply legends, and solidified as truth when shared through generations. So with that said, here is one story, through a collection of information, about a man named Sam Story. Historic documentation shows many of the earliest white settlers in Walton County were Scottish families from North and South...