Local dentist shares his love of the Choctawhatchee River

April 22, 2010

Dr. John Savage's quaint office boasts a high-tech dental service. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Beautiful smiles thrive at John’s Little Acre

To say that Doctor John Savage has lived an interesting and productive life is an understatement. Living along the Choctawhatchee River, John has brought hundreds of smiles through his dental practice and kind heart.

Born and raised in the Walton County area, John and his family spent most of their lives along the Choctawhatchee River. John’s great grandfather was a dentist who traveled via horse and buggy to treat his patients along the river in the late 1800s.

The family moved around the area living in Vernon, Chipley, DeFuniak Springs, West Bay and Destin as John’s father worked construction building roads and bridges in the area.

John worked with his father at times, and still owns the cross cut saw he used to clear the road from U.S. Hwy 98 to the beach in the area near what is now Sandestin. He proudly displays the saw on the side of his dental office on the river in Ebro.

Dr. John Savage shares happy patient's smiles. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Keeping with the family tradition on his mother’s side, John became a dentist after graduating from Emory University in Atlanta with a degree in dentistry and a Bachelor of Arts in Law.

John practiced dentistry and lived in the Ansley Park area until 1987. During that time, he had two short stints with the U.S. Navy during Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. He was also in the Georgia Legislature for 10 years.

The Choctawhatchee River never left John’s mind. Even during his successful career, he longed to be back on the river.

“Never a year went by that I didn’t want to come back,” John recollected.

By the time he reached 50, Savage knew he had better make a move.

In 1960 Savage’s father purchased 240 acres along the river, just east of the Walton County line, and John purchased an additional 83 acres adjacent to it in 1965 for $25K. The plan was set in motion to return to the river, however it was several more years before it came to fruition.

The extraordinary view from the patient chair at Dr. John Savage's dental office. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Dismissing advice from his comrades about the disadvantages of living and practicing in the middle of nowhere, Savage finally made the jump and started practicing on the river in 1984.

The property named “John’s Little Acre,” includes Savage’s home, practice, boat launch area and several small homes. Savage rents the homes at a reasonable rate to locals and friends. The monies collected from rent are used to help an elderly widow living on the property. A horse pasture, tennis court and garden are also on the grounds, and some of the land is set aside for conservation.

John’s dental office is located on the water, where patients can enjoy a spectacular view of the while receiving dental treatment.

“My job is to bring pretty smiles,” Savage stated as his specialty is providing cosmetic bonding treatment to patients.’

At 76, Savage is still going strong and booked with patients four days a week.

When asked if he had any plans to retire, John quipped, “not until my eyes can no longer see or my hands begin to shake.”

John’s other passions include playing tennis, studying philosophy, religion, psychiatry tending his garden, and happiness.

Over the years John has shared his passion for happiness with speaking engagements focused on practicing positive thinking along with an attitude of gratitude.

Johnny’s Creed
This moment is the only opportunity you and I have to make our lives and this world around us better. We must understand that our every thought and action affects us and everyone around us.

To observe our thoughts and actions and be aware of the effect they have on us and others gives us insight to a more fulfilled life and spiritual growth.

Awareness of what we do, and what we need to do, is not enough unless it translates into improved action.

To have love, compassion and responsibility for others and ourselves, we must first become these things. The best goal I can achieve for myself, my family, my friends, and this world is to manage my own life well. This is difficult and responsible work, so I ask God’s help in guiding me to a life of observation, awareness, change and growth.

Johnny Savage
5419 Little Acre Road
Ebro, Fla. 32437
Tel: (850) 535-2257

5 Comments
    1. I need some teeth work done,need to come get an estimate

    1. Dr. Savage is a super sweet man. We sank a truck at his boat launch and he showed us nothing but kindness! Sweetest person i’ve ever met! : )

    1. I’ve known Doc for some 15 years now, and you will never met a more interesting man or gentle person even if you roamed the entire earth. I need to get back to Ebro to see Doc; it’s been too long.

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