Old Towns and Communities of Okaloosa County:
camera icon  This symbol denotes a clickable picture, and in some cases, it will be supplied later.

Special Feature – means there will be another webpage attached at some point in time.
Town names not in bold are ones on which we are working.

Use your browser "Find" option or scroll to the town you are interested in.

Numbers refer to map location. For example, U37) refers to location number 37 in the upper map section. 

The map is the one used in the Okaloosa County Heritage Book, Volume II; copies available at the museum. Some additional towns and info in the book that is not here. Bottom section of map is at end of page. Some towns will not appear on the map, while others that are on the map will not appear in this text. You may wish to check back later for additions and corrections as well as added info and photos.

map of upper okaloosa county, Fla. 

U37) Auburn - 1882-present, T1N, R23W, Sec. 27 

    In 1911 the community was a train work station which included an L&N mess hall with a cook for railroad workers.  The workers used hand pumped cars to travel so they could make repairs on the track between Crestview and Florala. There was also a turpentine company there which employed a dozen or more workers.  Auburn, Silver Springs and Garden City communities were also engaged in growing, selling and transporting blueberry crops.


U25) Almirante - 1827-1926, T5N, R23W, Sec. 4, on the Yellow River, WNW of    

      Almarante Cem. camera icon  

      The name comes from the Spanish word for admiral.  Between 1839 – 42, 89 men listed their address as Almirante – representing about 40 surnames of early pioneers of the area – they worked to clear the log jams and debris from the Yellow River.  The “Nancy” was the first barge to float down the river. This created the means for commerce into Pensacola.  The community gradually faded with the coming of the railroad.    

     The post office was established in 1827 and continued service until it was moved to Laurel Hill. It was a stage coach station in 1849 and a Presbyterian Church was built in 1850, and a Baptist church built in 1896. Many believe that Andrew Jackson marched through this community on his way to New Orleans in 1818. The cemetery by the same name has continued to grow to be one of the largest in the county.


L28) Anderson's - 1845-56,

     Community near the sound and Camp Walton, perhaps it was once part of (or known as) Mary Esther


U10) Arbor Vitae - 1884, T4N, R22W, Sec. 22

     This community was the predecessor of Dorcas.  It was served by a stagecoach and a local version of the pony express.  The PO was once in the home of Mrs. E.T. Hart. The community began to wane when the railroad was built across the panhandle. Early families:  McCallum, Bolton, Powell, Hinote, Brown, Jones, Nichols, Miller, Hart, Williams and McSwain


U62) Austin(ville) - 1845-65,  Sec. 3, T3N.R2

     Located between Bethel Church and Griffith Ferry, its name was probably derived from Austin Nichols. It was the second major settlement in the area and a stagecoach stop. Early families:  Powell, Trammell, Nichols.


U66) Baggett - 1888,

           Located between Galliver and Milligan, sometimes called Baggett Creek.  


U63) Baker - 1910-present, T4N, R24W, Sec. 6,  Special Feature  


     First named Cobb or Old Cobb, the name was changed in 1912.  One story goes: J.D.C. Newton, an engineer and stockholder in Bagdad Lumber Co. moved to town and married the daughter of a man named Baker. Baker provided the money for Newton to erect the Baker Block building (ca 1908). Newton got the town named after Baker.

     Also a story that Mr. Barrows came through the area on one of Andrew Jackson’s treks.  Barrow broke off from the group at the Yellow River and started a homestead and by the 1820s more people began moving into the area. (Lembeck)

     During the 1st three decades of the 20th century the town thrived: had a cotton gin, two doctors, Baker Bank, Ice plant/house, livery stable, fertilizer plant, gristmill, hotel, a newspaper and three grocery stores and a Masonic Lodge.  The Baker school became the county’s first accredited school (1923).

     Today there are eight churches located within a 4-mile radius of the center of town –and the block of stores at the town’s center have been restored to house a heritage museum, park and antiques shop.


U48) Barrow's Ferry - 1845, south of Almarante; ferry was built and operated by John    

Barrow, Sr. 1826: 1st precinct at Barrow's ferry; Judges, Jeremiah Seville, Robert McKennon & Jesse Bryant


U74) Beaver Creek -1953-present, T4N, R25W, Sec. 6,

     It had a school in 1912.  Early families:  Boyette, Martin, Russell


U59) Beech Branch - T4N, R23W, Sec. 25  

        The area has been overcome by woods but during the mid-1930s there was a single building there which served all the community’s needs.  Located between Poverty Creek and Garden City, it was more a community than a town.

     Grady Cadenhead says he attended grade school there as did others.  Church services were held in the building on Sundays. "It was before separation of church and state." Grady recalls.  "Besides, it wasn't prudent to build a separate place for each function; there wasn't that much money for frills in those days."

     The Beech Branch Assembly of God Church was set in order on October 2, 1929 (see Church Histories in the museum library).  Surnames associated with this community were: Cadenhead. Barks. Habbard. Mason, McGraw.


U24) Bethel - 1882-1917, T6N, R23W, Sec. 34 along the Yellow River,

     A post office opened in 1883, some say it was settled in 1835. Located 17 miles north of Crestview, it had a school, Baptist church, saw and grist mills. Some say it was not settled until 1881. Families in the community were:  Bulger, Hollon, King, Steel, Stewart, Turner; additionally some farmers and planters: Campbell, Clary, Cutts, Davidson, Davis, Howell, Thompson, Tucker.  The post office closed in 1926.


U49) Blackman - 1882-present, T5N, R24W, Sec. 22  

     In 1886 it listed a population of 15.  The community was located on the diving ridge between the Blackwater and Yellow Rivers. Blackman community 1890 named for Taylor Blackman, one of first homesteaders. Its shipping point and nearest railroad express had a telegraph station.  There was also a gristmill, school a church and one store.  The post office was opened in 1884 and land sold from $1.25 to $3.00 per acre. Families listed were Baggett, Blackman, Kennedy, Steele, Cook and Brown.


L13) Black Point -1882, T2S, R23W, Sec. 9  

     A mining & refining operation started at the start of WWI. Also called ‘reduction city’ because they refined the black peat harvested out of the swampy shore area.  They ground, reduced (using steam boilers) and shipped it away for commercial use. At wars end locals hoped to keep the plant, known pre-war as ‘dye works’ going.  But it did not survive.  Lee Walton told of a terrible explosion and fire at the dye works; he was injured. After he recovered he looked for different work. Early families: Edge, McKnight, Walton, Gibson, Spenser.


L3) Boggy (Later Niceville) - 1892-1910, T1S, R22W, Sec. 6  camera icon   camera icon

    Some say the Donaldson family was here in 1834. From 1911-1912, Boggy was a village and steam boat landing on Boggy Bayou. There were two turpentine companies and three general stores, a saw mill and a Notary Public. Population was 900 at the time. It had a post office from 1893 until 1910 when the area became known as Niceville.

     Received the name “Boggy” from a peat deposit located at the mouth of Juniper Creek which flows into the bayou.  Early families:  Anchors, Armstrong, Burleson, Edge, Meigs, Nathey, Parish, Reynolds, Spence, Walton.


L4) Bolton - 1908-1932, T1S, R22W, Sec. 12,

     The area was originally settled on the southeast shore of Rocky Bayou in 1885 by Alabama born James T. Bolton, it included a PO from 1907-1931.  However, a later survey designated the Village of Bolton as being on the bayou’s north shore where the woods were known during the 1940s-70s as Panama City Hunt Club.  In present times, much of this area is taken up by Bluewater Bay developers.


U23) Brick - 1910-1921, NW of Oak Grove PO 1909-16

     This was a railroad shipping station along the Yellow River Railroad. Julius M. King was postmaster.  The PO opened in 1909 and closed in 1916.


Bryan Chapel


L19) Bryant,–NE ¼  S-21,T-1S, R-24W

     This was a sawmill settlement near Mary Esther. PO was open 1897-1901.  Postmasters were James A. Bryant, later James B. Sutton (1899) when the office was discontinued in 1901.




U35) Caledonia - 1910, NE of Garden City

          This railroad stop had a turpentine still and log camp.


L21) Camp Pinchot - , T1S, R24W, Sec. 25,    camera icon   camera icon

     Camp Pinchot was built in 1910 as the original headquarters for US Forest Service personnel assigned to the newly created Choctawhatchee National Forest, which was one of seven original National Forests created by President T. Roosevelt in 1908. Transferred to the War Department in 1940, Camp Pinchot gained further significance for its role in the development of Eglin and in US preparation for W.W.II.


U34) Campton - 1900-present, T5N, R23W, Sec. 35,

     Campton had two schools; one for blacks the other for whites.  It was a high segregated town shaped by black laborers and a few white landowners. There was a PO, intermittent between 1892 & 1908. the community was served by the Yellow River Railroad in 1888 and by 1894 there was passenger and freight service.  Early families:  Moore, Senterfitt.


L26) Camp Walton 1910, PO 1907; Fort Walton 1936, PO 1932; Fort Walton Beach, PO 1953-present, T2S, R24W, Sec. 13       camera icon fwb3.jpg

     Town was first named Brooks Landing after John T. Brooks who started a sawmill here after the Civil War. A post office was established in 1913, and the name was changed to Camp Walton in honor of Colonel George Walton, acting governor of West Florida in 1821. The city was incorporated in 1932, and the name changed to Fort Walton in remembrance of the fort that was used during the Seminole Indian War of 1839. The identity of Fort Walton as a coastal city needed clarification, so in 1953 "Beach" was added to its name. The Garniers family arrived in 1834 and John Thomas Brooks and wife came to the area in 1868.  The community became a Confederate installation in 1861.  Its mission was to guard East Pass. The camp was garrisoned by a company of Florida militia called the “Walton Guards”. After the Civil War others arrived: Pryor, Gerlach, Staff, Buck, Beal, Harbeson, Newton, Davis and Lewis.  Before the end of the 20th century these families settled in the area and Eccles, Condon, Harrie, Hall, Taylor. 

     The area was becoming a popular tourist and vacation retreat. A post office was opened in 1907 and a school opened in 1912.   Later, the town changed its name to Fort Walton.  With the advent of the military base, Eglin Field, the town thrived with an influx of military people and their families. The photo of Danley’s Furniture on Eglin Pkwy was taken in the mid 1960s.


U55) Cannon Town - 1953-1967, T4N, R24W, Sec. 17  camera icon  

          This was a crossroads area. See photo of the store.


Canoe -  camera icon   See also the town of Holt.  A church thrived in this little community for a while.


U64) Chaffin - 1884, east of Crestview T3N, R24W, Sec. 22,

    First settled in 1840 names for the man who built the first saw mill there, this community was near Baggett Creek and was located on the P/A Railroad where it crossed the Yellow River. It was a lumbering town of (450 at one point). There were two doctors and a dentist but they were gone by 1900.  It had two hotels, Baptist and Methodist churches, four stores, daily mail and a water powered gristmill. The post office was open from 1882 until 1889. Area families were: Brown, Bush, Milligan, and Noyse, Seigler.


Charlin - 1882, west of Crestview on Old Spanish Trail on the Yellow River. Chaffin and Charlin may be same and established in 1840


L27) Cinco Bayou, 1953-present, T2S, R24W, Sec. 13. camera icon 

     When the Cocke family’s homestead was subdivided, the property was a given the name Cinco Bayou because it bordered Five Mile Bayou (Morris). In turn, Five was transposed into ‘cinco’ the number 5 in Spanish. During the 1950s, the town became a residential community supporting the increased activities at Eglin Air Force Base and the expanding commercial and tourist enterprises of the Fort Walton Beach area.

     The scene would change as the Town began to develop. Several mobile home parks opened and were quickly filled with families.  The 1960 census listed the Town with a population of 643, primarily due to the new families living in the mobile homes, which numbered more than 150 at that time.

     During the 1960s, the residential character of the town began to change as the mobile home parks closed to make room for commercial businesses. In 1966, a portion of Andalusia Street was vacated and a new Town Hall was constructed.  This building was to be the center of Town activity for the next 23 years.

     The 1970 census listed the Town’s population at 362. During the 1970s the trend toward commercial development continued. Eglin Parkway, Beal Parkway and Yacht Club Drive had all been widened to 4 lanes.

     By 1980, commercial activities had increased and there were 95 businesses in the Town with an estimated 600 employees.  In the 1980s, Eglin Parkway was widened to six lanes and the Sea Way boat ramp was rebuilt and additional piers added.  A picnic shelter was built in Laguna Park and a boardwalk and sand trails were constructed in Glenwood Park.  During 1989 the new Town Hall was constructed on Yacht Club Drive to provide a larger meeting place.

     The 1990 census counted 386 residents in the Town and after the current census is tallied, Cinco Bayou could boast nearly 500 residents.


U19) Claroy - 1910, T3N, R22W, Sec. 23, East of Deerland and on the north side of Hwy 90.   camera icon 

     Primarily a lumber camp, it was at the end of a railroad spur ; 6 miles of track were laid into the forest where they loaded timber for shipment.  Lewis J. (“L.J.”) Nathey supplied cord wood for the railroad as the engines burned wood in those days when coal was not available.    Britton Lumber Co. and the Long-Harbeson mill were there 1916 – 1918. The mill burned in 1918 and was not rebuilt and the little community disappeared into the forest. See photo of the commissary token.  Early families:  Harbeson, Long, Nathey.


U51) Clawson - 1967, T5N, R24W, Sec. 32


U32) Clear Springs - 1967, T4N, R24W, Sec. 5;  

     Home of Bill Lundy, oldest surviving CW soldier in area; thought to be named for artesian springs in area.  This community of farmers and timber men had two churches at one time.  It also boasted a small  school.  Uncle Bill said the “Yankees” who were in nearby Garden City would come to the spring’s area to get potable water.  Traveling preachers used the little school house for services, and revivals.  It also has a large cemetery and early families were:  Adams, Busbee, Cawthon, Fountain, George and Lundy.


Cobb – Baker     Special Feature    

     The land that became known as Cobb was owned by A.J. Chaffin Co and later sold to J.W. McCart. Ca 1905 the railroad which hauled logs between Pensacola and Galliver, and on to Falco, AL. came through; and, a depot in Cobb was built in 1913.  The post office opened in 1896 and reopened in 1912 when the community took the name, Baker. Mr. Peadon was the first naval stores operator in the area. 


U12) Coolarethis Ferry - 1865, On Shoal River south of Dorcas


U33) Compton - 1953-present, T4N, R23W, Sec. 35


Corbet – 1909 NE ¼ of NE ¼  S-20, T-3N, R-27W 1909-1912

     The PO was located in Elliott’s store in 1909 and moved in 1911.   J.C. Corbit was the 1st Postmaster; followed by Hilliard O. Martin and Charles D. Bass; discontinued in 1912.


U75) Cotton Bridge - 1981, T4N, R25W, Sec. 22


U2) Cowan - 1910, T5N, R22W, Sec. 23,  NE of Schulman, 1904-5

     This was a railroad shipping station and part of the Yellow River Railroad which was organized in 1887. It was along a rail line between Crestview, FL and Florala, AL. The PO opened in June, 1904 and closed October, 1905.


U43) Crestview - 1882-present, T3N, R23W, Sec. 17  camera icon

     The City of Crestview received its charter from the Florida Legislature and was officially incorporated in 1916. Crestview’s name was chosen because it is located on the peak of a long woodland range between the Yellow and Shoal rivers, which flow almost parallel on the east and west side of the city.  The CSX, Inc. railroad runs through Crestview.

     Parallel with this railroad is the Old Spanish Trail which extends from Jacksonville west to El Paso, Texas, thus being one of the great truck lines of the country. Because of the city’s location it is rich in tradition and history of the Indian, French, Spanish and English settlers who formed this nation.


U17) Deerland - 1882-present, T3N, R22W, Sec. 15, camera icon    camera icon   

     Deerland was a rail head/depot – a shipping station for the Yellow River Railroad ca 1887.  Developers brought their turpentine, lumber and other products to be shipped out of the area. It had a PO from 1899 to 1918. Photos taken in the 1930s.


U15) Delaco - 1936-1953, T3N, R22W, Sec. 19

     James Henry Long had a sawmill and commissary here. It was near Deerland where the Long family got its mail there at one time.


L16) Destin  - 1910-present, T2S, R23W, Sec. 24, populated in the 1830s but not appearing on maps till 1910, PO 1896-present 

     Destin traces its immediate history to a fisherman, Captain Leonard Destin, who moved here from New London, Connecticut, and settled in Northwest Florida in about 1845. The family had to move to Freeport during the Civil War but returned afterward. William T. Marler, moved across the bay and settled in the area in 1884. Captain Destin pioneered the fishing industry and Destin has maintained this heritage to the present.  Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village  it has also become a popular vacation area because of its beautiful emerald colored waters and sugary sand beaches. Early families include: Melvin, Maltezo among others.


U29) Dixon - 1892, T5N, R26W, Sec. 9, NE of Blackman, PO - 1888-1894

     Formerly named Oak Grove, this community’s post office was set up in 1888 The Postmaster was Aram B. Dixon.  Later Postmaster was John. Baggett, Jr. The PO closed in 1894.


U11) Dorcas - 1892-present, T3N, R22W, Sec. 35, PO 1892-1918 camera icon

     Settlement began in the mid-1800s.  It thrived due the naval stores industries.  Cattlemen would bring their stock to the area for grazing and small family farms – as well as turpentine stills – dotted the area.  Boothe, McSwain, Powell, Griner, Halford, Hart, Hinote, McCallum, McCellan, Miller, Spoon, Williams were among the pioneer families.  Photo shows Mama Hinote sitting; daughters and Alex McCallum. (Donald  McCallum)

     At its zenith Dorcas had a school, general store, a Woodmen Hall which doubled as a church and a post office which opened in 1892. Old Dorcas Cemetery is in a wooded area; Dorcas Cemetery behind Dorcas Church.


L15) East Pass - 1830s,   camera icon  

     Spanish explorers surveyed Florida in 1538. Don Francisco Tapia was commissioned to survey the Florida coast and in 1693, drew the first known map of East Pass and its shores.  Local lore records that in 1926 the Melvin, Marler and Destin families cut a drainage ditch two feet wide across Okaloosa Island using only shovels. Within two hours, the ditch was over a 100 yards wide and the hand dug trench opened a torrent of rushing water that created the East Pass into what you see today.


U13) East River – 1845                                                                      


U20) Ebenezer  This cemetery has a Laurel Hill address. camera icon    camera icon    camera icon 

14 miles north of Crestview; west 3 miles on SR 306; slight left go 3 miles on Old Ebenezer Rd.  The 1st photo shows the cemetery entrance; the 2nd is a detail of one of the Christian Creek Burial houses; the 3rd photo shows several of the burial houses which have since been destroyed by a hurricane.


L20) Eglin Village


U21) Elberta - 1902, Near AL Line on Yellow River RR


U47) Escambia Farms - 1936-1967, T5N, R24W, Sec. 3       Special Feature    camera icon

     This self-sufficient farming community was set up by Federal Government with 81 families occupying farms of 75-100 acres each. At its zenith the population was 400 and there were 60 homes. (Lembeck).

     In 1939 a twelve grade school opened and in the school yard was a “teacherage”  as well as a house for the principal and the agriculture teacher.  (Most folks didn’t have cars)  About a mile from the school was a commissary, gristmill, can mill, cold storage building.

     Resident farmers had to show they were capable of doing the necessary farm work.  A project manager oversaw this.  Project managers over the years: Aubrey Hudson, Lance Richbourg, Dick Blackshear, Gordon Johnson, Jasper Stewart.  By the start of WWII families started leaving the farms.  See a detailed history in the museum research library.


U5) Falco Junction - 1892-1953, T5N, R22W, Sec. 8,  camera icon    camera icon 

     This thriving town was just NE of Campton on L&N RR on the Alabama state line.  The name is derived from the initials of the company’s name; Florida Alabama Land Company. In the early 1900s the area was incorporated and streets were named. It had a 40-room hotel across  the street from the bank. Businesses catered to the traveling men (drummers) who could rent a horse and buggy at the livery stable and circuit ride to sell their goods. There was a gristmill and later a soda fountain and jewelry store. Fresh vegetables were readily available brought in to the depot by train.  The second photo is of train number 1 having just arrived at Falco and entering Wye station at center right. It turned around on Wye, back down into the Mc Gowin-Foshee's yard, set out the coach, switch the yard, took on water and then put up on the house track, near the sand house (floridamemory.com). The flu epidemic of 1918 took a toll on the town and the typhoid epidemic which followed in 1919 further caused the towns decline.  The depression years finished it off.  Today, it is a ghost town.


U39) Fisher - 1916, between Crestview and Deerland


L25) Five Mile Bayou - T1S, R23W, Sec. 6,  camera icon  

The bayou runs through Ft. Walton Beach and Cinco Bayou in to the Choctawhatchee  The photo of is T.J. Pryor’s sawmill on Five Mile Bayou in 1912.


L32) Florosa - 1916- present, T2S R24W Sec. 13

         A Mr. Krause built the Florosa Inn.  The name was coined by combining the names – Florida and Santa Rosa.  There was another structure built nearby on what is now the Hurlburt Field front gate.  It was known as the Florosa Hotel.  The general area was previously known as Harris.  It had been named for a couple who operated a store and post office.

     Most of the homes and businesses in the Florosa area were along the Santa Rosa Sound to take advantage of the water bourn traffic.    From sail powered to steam and motor launches; all ferrying goods between Pensacola and Camp Walton. James Buchanan Sutton began his turpentine operation in 1896.


U28) Franklin - 1910-1920, T6N, R28W, Sec. 25, PO 1908-1915  

     This was a sawmill settlement. A new post office was established here (part of the Red Oak Community) and W.J. Franklin was Postmaster. The PO was discontinued in 1915.


U77) Galliver - 1910-present, T3N, R25W, Sec. 25   camera icon   camera icon

     In the early 1900s Galliver had a R/Rdepot, post office, school,  hotel and at least five stores.  The Coca-cola Company had a warehouse by the tracks.  The depot was a spur through Baker to Falco (a bustling lumber town on the Alabama line).  The 1st photo (floridamemory.com) is Ivan Leonard and Miss Marjorie Ward with engine number 8 : Galliver, FL.

     Families living in the area between 1900 – 1950:  Henderson, Livingston, Tullis, Reeves, Paulk, Carnley, Moore, Kirkland, Ashburn, Kimbro, Brunson, Merritt, Borrow, Locke, Williamson, Anderson, Gillis, Grice, Griffith, Summerlin, Atkins, Adkison, Stanley, Shofner, Gordon, Mainor, Ingram, Melvin, Austin, Carr, Yow,Pilant, Campbell, Savage.  According to Donald Reeves’ research, Galliver’s depot agent, Alllen T. Carr, later became Clerk of the Court for the county.


U36) Garden City - 1910-present, T4N, R23W, Sec. 15, PO 1910-19

     The community was primarily a railroad depot for shipping watermelons, blueberries and other produce.  At one time the community was bigger than Crestview.  There was a three-story hotel owned by Mr. Record; a post office and one room school, three grocery stores, a canning plant, hat shop for women, a commissary, turpentine and planer (lumber) mills. The planer mill was run by Henry and Charley Clary burned sometime in the 1920s.

     Carolyn Senterfitt recalls being told that the town was founded by what they called “the northern bunch” who brought in large horses to farm with but they didn’t know how to farm in the sandy soil.  They also tried to start a cannon factory but that failed also.


L23) Garniers - 1910-present, T2S, R24W, Sec. 34, PO 1906-37.  

     This community had one the earliest post office and school on the county’s coastal area. Located near the head of Garniers Bayou (L22) - T1S, R23W, Sec. 30, most of  the area was taken by the US Government. Camp Pinchot is there today.


L18) Gattis - 1910-1920, SW of Howell, NE of Mary Esther, PO 1907-11

This was a sawmill settlement. PO established in 1907 and discontinued in 1911; Thomas C. Gattis was Postmaster.


U58) Givens Junction - 1920, S of Oak Grove, N of Baker

Aka. Gilmore Creek – 1915 – 1920. The Given’s Lumber Company was located here. Early families:  Thompson; Steele; Hinley; Kennedy; Hobbs; Reed; Foster.


Golan - 4 miles north of Baker


U45) Good Hope - 1967, T6N, R24W, Sec. 34



Harper - 1920, WNW of Mary Esther

     The town sprang up in the 1800s near East Bay.  It was named in honor of the first white man to live there. It had two turpentine stills and was heavily into logging operations. (McDonald Aug 68)


L33) Harris - 1911-1920, west of Mary Esther, PO 1902-18

     Harris later became known as Florosa.  The community grew up along coastal Hwy 98 so naturally it developed as a depot of sorts – transportation between Pensacola and Camp Walton – boats would sail and later steam back and forth transporting people as well as goods.


U54) Hester - 1910-1920, NE of Baker,

    The Hester school building was also  used for church services.  The area of Hester later became known as the “Barrow settlement”. A PO here was  intermittent between  1898 & 1912.


U53) Hilton - 1920, S of Blackman

          This was a flag stop on the railroad near Baker. Early family:  Ray.


Hinote – Though we have not documented that such a town existed we know that the Hinote family was in business the Sugartown          area and also in the Dorcas/Pond Creek area.


U79) Holt - 1884-present, T3N, R25W, Sec. 33, PO – 1883  

     Holt, FL has roots in the timber industry.  According to many, the first pioneers to come to the Holt area settled along the Yellow River.  And though no exact date is given, it was prior to the survey of Benjamin Clemets and James W. Exum in 1828-29, or the survey of Henry Wells in 1852.

     The community’s first real source of income was a sawmill known as Mart’s Mill.  It was located on Canoe Creek with a ditch cut from the northeast corner of the mill pond to a ‘waste-way’ on Trawick Creek.  The ditch transported logs to the mill and furnished enough water to run the mill.  The mill was later owned by Jim Black (1820-1893) and was called Canoe Mill according to Holt resident, Eva Wadsworth.

     Ann Spann notes in a newspaper article that it was not the prospect of the railroad which brought settlers to the area. It was the reality of timber from the virgin pine forest which covered the sparsely populated area.

     David Holt built his small log cabin just north of where the railroad track would later to located. He had a store in one corner of the cabin and served residents who had settled in the area called “up on the hill”.  Holt’s store was located along the stagecoach road which ran from Milton, FL. and northeast to Florala, AL.  The stagecoach used his stable to rest and feed their horses. In 1902, William Holt, son of David Holt and Monroe Seigler built the Holt-Seigler Mercantile Company.

     Another source of income was hauling ‘lite-ard (lightwood) knots’ along the railroad to dump sites.  The wood, used as train fuel, sold for sixty cents per cord. The railroad paid for the wood with tickets or in cash.  The tickets could be used at the local store.  However, cash was only available once per month when the railway pay car came through the area.  Another source of income was cutting cross ties from the many cypress trees and selling them to the railroad company.

     In 1888 John W. Senterfitt established the first school at Hurricane Head.  In 1889 several small turpentine stills  sprang up south of the Yellow River.  The Ewing brothers first turpentine still was built in Holt ca 1900.  The following year, several families gathered in the area to worship and soon organized the New Hope Baptist Church. Later, the church later became Holt Baptist Church.  By 1903, a large new depot and three section houses for a railroad maintenance crew were built by the Southern Express Company.

     In 1909, W.T. Smith and his sons – Will, Frank and Ed – built a sawmill west of the Ewing’s.  The town was called Holts for many years:  the train conductor would say, “Next stop, Holt’s” as the train neared the station.   But as time went by the ‘s’ was dropped from the name.

     In 1927, the first bus service came through Holt.  It was a large car owned by Tom Dollar who called the old car “The Jitney.”  Jeremy Johnson and Justin Sutton, recent students at the Baker School (ca 1990) wrote a paper noting that Mr. Dollar made a round trip from Florala, AL to Milton FL everyday.  The jitney services stopped when the old car finally wore out.  They credit Mr.  Max Cooper, The History of Holt, as their primary resource.

     In its prime, the little town boasted two movie theaters.  The Holt Hotel was near the cemetery.  Mrs. Mabel Ates arrived in 1915 and raised nine children in the town.  She took in washing and ironing to help rear her children.  She was featured in a newspaper article on her 100th birthday.

     To name just a few of the other  pioneer families associated with the area: Adams, Baldwin, Bois, Cadenhead, Chestnut, Christian, Cooper, Dollar, Edenfield, Fisher, Hart, Rowland, Sanders, Steele, Pippins, Livingston.


L7) Holley – T1N, R23W, Sec. 25 & 26 

     According to “Florida Place Names” by Allen Morris, the community was settled in 1893 and said to have been named for a Baptist minister, the Rev. W. D. Holley. There were many sawmills in the area. Residents also bartered by selling fresh sea foods – oysters and fish.


U8) Horsehead - PO 1888-1890.  We know that some folks settled near Horsehead

Creek after WWI but , presently, we have found no documentation as to the actual community by that name.


L17) Howell - 1915-1932, T1S, R24W, Sec. 17

     Named for the Howell family of which Aaron A. Howell started the first fishing industry on Choctawhatchee Bay ca. 1897. His descendant Lance Howell was still working in the fishing business at Spence Bros. Fish Co., Niceville in 1971 when EW Carswell did a series of articles on the area.  Horizontally about in line with Niceville, it had an intermittent PO between 1897 & 1918.  Some refer to this community as Howell Hill.  Postmasters were J.S. Howell and later, Annie Weekley. For a time school was conducted in  a dance hall on Howell Hill until, in 1938, when the school was again rebuilt.


U80) Kellys Mill -present, T3N, R25W, Sec. 30

     Kelly’s Mill was on Bone Creek not far from Holt.  It was owned and operated by  Kelly and Cutts family. Eventually, Kelly’s descendants moved to Niceville, and then to Ft. Walton where they built another mill – a saw mill – near the intersection of  West Hollywood Blvd and Beal Pkwy.


Kenneth - 1910, SW of Holt


U16) Killingsworth Crossroads - present, T3N, R22W, Sec. 17  camera icon

Located on Hwy 90 west from the Okaloosa County 393 intersection.


U3) Laurel Hill, T6N, R22W, Sec 5. PO 1896. 1900-present.

     (Called Laurelville on maps through 1915) – Called “Old California” during the Civil War, it became Laurel Hill ca 1900.  Business in the town boomed between the late 1800s and early 1900s. They grew cotton, corn, sugar cane and peanuts.  At the time the town had hardware, dry goods stores, a drug store, bank grocery stores, a boarding houses, hotels, and a telephone office.  One of the big events in the area was their round up for hogs and cattle to be driven to the dipping vats.

     The town was on the wane when the 1930s depression came along and the timber was getting scarce.  Home of the Father of Okaloosa Co. Bill Mapoles, it was a larger, more populated town than Crestview when Bill moved his family from there to the still developing town of Crestview.

     Early families:  Chestnut, Cadenhead, Hart, Finlayson, Axelson, Campbell,  Tyner and many more.


L10) Little Bayou - T1S, R23W, Sec. 31


Lockendam – 1916


L11) Longwood   This area grew up along Garnier’s Bayou, southeast of Camp

Pinchot.  Presently, a housing development, the area once had turpentine stills and farmers.


U27) Magnolia (Budville, Budtown)

     The community dates back to when Andrew Jackson traveled through this area.  Daniel Campbell and his wife Effie McLean were among the earliest settlers. It is said that James Decatur Clary, grandson of James and Elizabeth Clary moved to this area in 1737 along with his bride Mary A.E. Carter.

     At one point, lived within shouting distance of each other were Bud Clary, Bud Howard,  Bud Campbell, Bud Carter – but Clary’s suggested the community be called the bay trees that grew there.

     Early families:  Baggett, Carter,  Fowler, Gaskin, Harrison, Holley, Lott, Moore, Morrison, Richbourg, Steele, and Stewart.


L29) Mary Esther -1882-present, T2S, R24W, Sec. 17  camera icon  

     The first settler of Mary Esther came in 1842 when Jesse Rogers and his family drove a large cattle herd from Louisiana to the shores of Santa Rosa Sound and settled here.

     During the mid-1850's John Newton, a minister and teacher, settled in the area west of Fort Walton Beach known as the Narrows, today known as Mary Esther. Reverend Newton founded the first school, which also doubled as a church during the Civil War.

     There are three stories about how Mary Esther got its name. One says it was the name of Newton's wife, the second says it was a combination of his two daughter's names and the third says it was a combination of his wife's and daughter's names. No one knows the true story. John Newton established the first post office in the Mary Esther community October 10, 1871 and old-timers say that may have been when he honored his daughters, because the community had to have a mailing name. The location was probably in the home of John Newton who became Mary Esther's first postmaster.

     Thomas Jefferson Pryor, born in Greenville, Ala. sailed to Mary Esther in 1854 as a deckhand on a schooner headed for Pensacola. Pryor met Ona Rogers, daughter of Jesse Rogers, and they were married in May 1879. The couple had ten children, two of which - Tom and Roger Pryor - later served as mayors of the town. Thomas Jefferson Pryor later re-married and had three more children.

     Thomas Jefferson Pryor became postmaster of Mary Esther in 1899, and members of his family served in that position until 1972. Notably, Mary Pryor, who was T.J. Pryor's daughter in-law & wife of George, served as Postmistress from 1938 - 1972.

     William C. Pryor, Mary Esther's pioneer and noted educator, was among the pupils taught by John Newton. Pryor later became Okaloosa County's first superintendent of schools. The Pryor name is synonymous with Mary Esther. Members of the family have lived in and often have run the small city. The Pryors continue to live on the same property purchased by the original settlers in the early 1800's located on the north bank of Santa Rosa Sound.

     Mary Esther was incorporated in 1946 with E. Roger Pryor as the first Mayor. Page Bacon was the second Mayor, and Tom Pryor, the third Mayor, served for 28 years.


L31) Metts - 1910-present, T1N, R25W, Sec. 28 

     Ten miles NE of Milton, its PO established in 1907. In 1912 Tommie Simmon began dipping turpentine ear Metts Tower which was a lookout for park rangers to stop fires. Early families:  D.P. Powell, John W. Sellars, Henry Williams and William Holleman and Simon.


Milligan - 1892-present, T3N, R24W, Sec. 22

     Ca. 1840 the first settler came to this area, known at the time as Chaffin’s Station.   In this logging camp, the Chaffins had built a turpentine still. Prior to the Civil War, Simeon Noyes built a gristmill nearby. The gristmill was later owned by James R. Miller , then Alfred Garrett.  Rufus Milligan is said to have brought the first sawmill to the area (1870s).  By 1876 there was a sawmill, mercantile store, barbership, blacksmith, livery stable, saloon and a ferry, known as Brown’s Ferry.

     The town grew quickly between 1881 – 83 when the railroad came through. In 1886 the population was 200 with two hotels, two churches, post office, gristmill with lumber the principal shipment.  The town’s name was changed in 1889 to Milligan.  When the county was created it became the County Seat. The courthouse was in the Scotch Manufacturing Co. The County Seat was later moved to Crestview, due in small part to the flood prone area around Milligan.

     Groups of note:  Florida Masonic Lodge #18; The Milligan Times newspaper; Dobbins-Miller Hotel; W. B. Gay’s Barbershop. Fleming & Sons Pulpwood & Timber Co;  Early families:  Bush, Brown, Noysc/Noyes?, Chaffin, Milligan, Wilkinson, Kelly, Rice, Fleming.


Moreno Point -1882-present, Due North of Destin on the Bay


U46) Mountain City - 1910-1920, N of Blackman


L3) Niceville - 1910-present, T2S, R22W, Sec. 6 camera icon     camera icon 

     Once known as Boggy (1880s) it took its present name in 1910.   After the Civil War settlers were looking for land to homestead. Access to waterways was a plus, also. Fishermen caught, processed and sold mullet; shipped naval stores products and more.  The first photo shows the Spence Bros. Fish House. 1950-60s; the next photo of Child’s Drug Store, on Hwy 20, was made in the late 1950s. Early on it had three general stores, school, grist mill, saw mills, and more. Early families: Lewis, Carr, Brabham, Harris, Spence, Walton, Edge, Friewald, Meigs, Padgett, Nathey.


U26) Newell - 1910-1920, T6N, R23W, Sec. 28, PO closed 1917

     Newell was on the mail route between Oak Grove & Bedaville.  Its name was changed from “King” in 1897. Davidson family.


Norriego Point - 1882-present, T2S, R23W, SE of Destin


U56) Nubbin Ridge -

     Years ago the main crops in this area were corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans for commercial use.  “Nubbins” were some of the best ear of corn grown anywhere.  Thus the crossroads three miles north of Baker became known as Nubbin Ridge. The community didn’t have a post office or a school, a hotel or a restaurant, they did have a baseball team.

     However, Robert Stewart did build a store in 1942 (later changed to Nubbin Ridge Grocery).  The Stewarts had two daughters and were interested in having a safe, reputable place for them to socialize. The store helped that cause and youngsters would gather and walk a mile up to Hester Church on Sunday afternoons, sing gospel songs, or gather to go to Blackwater River to swim.

     Early families:  Austin, Kilcrease, Bush, McVickers, Holloway, Johnson, Cosson, Langley, Peacock, Brunson.


U30) Oak Grove -1870-present, T5N, R23W, Sec. 17,

     It said to have been established in 1828; also seems to have been a second town of the same name, nearby; once called Old Walton.

     After the Civil War the Scottish farmers who had settled there were reluctant to engage in the lumber and turpentine business which had begun to thrive. Author Allen Morris says that John F. Thomas opened a general store here in the 1870s and the live oaks suggested a name when the PO was opened in 1878. Franklin King as well as A.B. Dixon owned a store there.

     At one time the community had two general stores, a school, several grist mills, the Walton Hotel and Yellow River Baptist Church. Only the church building and cemetery remain.  Early pioneer families:  Hart, Baggett, Franklin, Law, Lewis, Barrow, Peaden and Davidson.


Ocean City - 1967-present, part of Ft. Walton Beach  This community prospered

with the arrival of  military families stationed at the US Air Force base,  It is near the south gate of Eglin, AFB


U9) Okaloo - 1936-present, T5N, T22W, Sec. 19


U78) Ollinger - 1888, NE of Holt on RR


U60) Osteen - 1884, NE of Crestview


U73) Otahite(s) - 1845-present, T4N, R25W, Sec. 6, PO 1880-1914  camera icon 

               In 2008 the area that was once Otahite is no longer visible.  It has faded back into the Blackwater State Forest.  Otahite was originally a Native American outpost along the much used Indian trails of northwest Florida. The Indians called it “Otahite” meaning, “damp place.”   As white settlers began to move into the area, Otahite’s role in frontier history gained prominence.  Serving postal, trading, travel and communication needs of the pioneers, large quantities of crops grown for export passed through this crossroads area.  There was an inn and stagecoach station and major paths and trails extended out in several directions from Otahite. 

    With the advent of railroads and easier travel the community’s significance waned. Today the area has become more reminiscent of the old days when wild turkey and gopher populated the creeks, branches, and rivers...days when the juniper, magnolia, bay and cypress trees, among others, grew in abandon along the byways and waters of northwest, present-day, Okaloosa County, Florida.

     John Wilkinson, Jr., Sylvester Cotton and Dallas Peaden (brothers-in-law) settled at Otahite. They built a church-school and hired a teacher from up north.               

      Unfortunately, the teacher had tuberculosis when he arrived.  Many people contracted the disease, died and were buried in Otahite Cemetery.  Two of them were John Wilkinson’s children.  The Otahite Cemetery was never called the Peaden Cemetery although John Wilkinson, Jr. and Virginia Peaden who married in 1867 - had 10 children - have five of their children buried there. Other pioneer families associated with the area are Mashburn, Turvin, and Snowden.

     On 19 January 1880 a request was submitted for a new post office to be named Otahite in the community of Alamosa, FL.  It was to be located in the northwest ¼ of Section 3, Township 4N, Range 25W which was 17 miles southwest of the Oak Grove community and 28 miles northeast of Milton, FL. The proposed Postmaster was Dallas Peaden. He was followed by John A. Peaden in 1904. By July 1909 mail from Milligan to Otahite ran six times a week. About 14 miles southwest of Otahite was the L&M Railroad. Otahite  was about 8 miles from the Cobb community. The Blackwater Creek was 3 miles east of the community. 

     On 12 July 1909 a location change moved the post office 3 miles west of the existing site.  This request was made by Peter D. Franklin.     The contractor was Daniel A Stewart. The proposed Postmaster was Dallas Peaden. Approval was given on 3 March 1880 and signed by John Thomas, Oak Grove Postmaster.  The total population to be supplied with mail was approximately 100.   Lula A. Hamilton was Postmistress in 1910 and the office was discontinued on 31 May 1914.    

      “The local people pronounce it OTA-HIGHT  but it is a Creek Indian word and they stress  all the Letters.  Native American, Nathan Chessher, says that if it had an E on the end it was because that is the way they said it O-TA-HI-TE, as a T was pronounced as a D it would have been said as Oda-hi-De.” 


U31) Peaden - 1953-present, T5N, R23W, Sec. 30  camera icon  

     Jackson Peaden homesteaded the family property and built a house just south of Oak Grove in 1885.  His sons, Dallas, Bartlet and Jack build built homes there, too.  The Dallas Peaden house was built in 1895 and is now of the county’s oldest, finest architectural examples of its time. The area became known as Peadontown.  The Peaden brothers dabbled in sheep herding, logging and farming. At one time, the sheep herd reached eight thousand plus.  There is no town there today.


U6) Pineway - 1892-present, T5N, R22W, Sec. 18, just NE of Campton on L&N RR, PO 1890-96

     A shipping station along the Yellow River Railroad  - Pineaway PO opened in June 1890 and closed in 1896.


Port Dixie -   Postil -present, T1S, R22W, Sec. 19 camera icon  

     Proposed by developers to become a town & harbor and gateway more development. Many newspaper articles (1925-1932) including discussion of the area as key to the lack of an adequate passageway into Choctawhatchee Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. (Barrow) The project ultimately failed. 


L6) Postl (Postil) Point – T 1S; R-22W, Sect. 19    camera icon 

Located south of Valparaiso was an area locals called Postl Point. Originally, it was a health spa owned and operated by Mr. Charles Postl, formerly of Chicago. Though not a city, as such, it was a populated area near  Tom’s Bayou.

Poverty Creek     camera icon 

Located north of the city of Crestview on Poverty Creek Rd, this small area was occupied by only a few family homes. Nearby were Garden City and Dorcas. In the photo is the I.P. Cadenhead. Other early families were Mason, Brown, Habbard.


U57) Pyron Springs. Cemetery: Sec 18, T4N, R24W camera icon    camera icon                     


Pyron Chapel, also location in this general area, has an extensive history to be found in the museum’s research library. Near the church there was, at one time, the Pyron Work Camp.


Red Rock – T3N, R27W, Sec. 8, PO 1907-1925


Red Oak -  The church here had a homecoming ca 1890 – ea. 1900. camera icon 


U70) Rock Creek - 1936-present, T5N, R 25W, Sec. 6, PO 1912-19

          Laurence A. Fleming was Postmaster.


U44) Rock Hill - 1953-present, T6N, Sec. 35

     Mr. Weinzerel predicted oil in the area. (Pensacola News Journal) and as a result the deepest well drilled in our area was at Rock Hill.  However, they found no oil.


U4) Schulman - 1915-1920, NE of Falco Junction


L5) Seminole - 1967-present, T1S, R22W, Sec. 23

     Located on the north shore of the Choctawhatchee Bay, this area was populated with local fishermen and  developers  for  the  Bluewater  area.

Local landmarks include Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Recreation Area, Grass Lake, Little Trout Creek, Parkway Church, Puddin Head Lake


L12) Shalimar - 1953-present, T2S, R23W, Sec.5

     It is said to have been named by one of James E. Plew’s daughters probably after the river in Kashmir described in the popular song, “Pale Hands I Pressed.”  Plew, from Chicago, bought up the holdings of John Perrine. The land included most of Valparaiso, Niceville and all of Shalimar. Plew started a winery here just after the repeal of prohibition. The grapes came from the old Bunte farm near Crestview, and the product was called Shalimar wine.  (Florida Place Names. Allen Morris)


U41) Shoffner City – along 90 east of Crestview, 1950

     According to Jean Shoffner Mahaffey, Col. A.R. Shoffner, the realtor, auctioneer, land appraiser, and subdivision developer, started Shoffner City.  He named it after himself, as he always believed that if you didn’t toot your own horn, nobody else would, she recalled.

     Shoffner was a shrewd businessman.  He bought the land in 1942 but did not come to the area until 1945. He sold 25 foot lots for $100.00 with a dollar down and 5 cents a day (later it was a dollar a month). 

     It originally stretched from approximately the Shoal River to within three miles of Crestview.  It has since exceeded those boundaries and the city limits have moved out closer. It incorporates all the Opportunities Subdivision to the north of highway 90, and south to highway 90 to the L&N Railroad tracks.


U38) Silver Springs - 1953-present, T4N, R23W, Sec. 33

     In 1891 it had a one room school house and a Baptist church. Its name was taken from the nearby Silver Creek.  Early families: In the 1890s, Davis, Edge, Sapp, Sorrells, Carver, Cody Locke.


Sugartown  1900 – 1910  camera icon 

     Henry Griffith & Tom Hinote were the tycoons of Sugartown in the early 1900s.  It was a thriving town for about ten years. It was a saw mill area built on Shoal River where Gopher Creek and Williams Branch join it.  At first lumber was shipped on by ox team and lumber carts but it was slow and laborious.  Henry Griffith built an engine to pull the lumber carts:  one man to fire it and one to drive.  This way they got the logs to market sooner.  Thus, the Sugartown Express, as it was called, was this invention also named for the sweet, sugary cane and other items it hauled.  The Bayou Times, 4 Aug 1975 records that the community also had a commissary and boarding house.  Early families:  Gordon, Hinote, Harris, Hart, Turner, Ingram, Livingston.  (Photo from Dave Gordon)


U1) Svea - 1917-present, T6N, R22W, Sec. 35,  camera icon  

     Pronounced sweer, the town had an intermittent post office 1897-1910. The first settlers began arriving in 1800s.  Most were Swedes and Norwegians lured from Chicago by developers. There were more Swedes  so they gave the town its name which meant “extraordinarily beautiful.” 

     This was a farming community and folks worked from sundown to sunup.  But they had their share of ice cream socials, church supper and one of the three stores sold wine. At its zenith, Svea had a school (closed in 1937), two churches, a small cotton gin and saw mill and a railroad depot.  The photo is (floridamemory.com) Stearns & Culver Lumber Company engine #1 at logging camp, e.g. Svea.


U76) Tank   camera icon        Located between Galliver and Baker this little community

was a rail stop on the Baker to Galliver Cut-off.  It cost .12 cents to ride,     one-way, from Tank to Baker. Photo of Jack & Olin Garrett ca 1930s.



L8) Valparaiso - 1916-present, T1N, R23W, Sec. 12  camera icon      camera icon  

     A small settlement was established, built around a sawmill located near the north side of Tom’s Bayou.  In 1901, Allen Brown, Jr., established a homestead here and acquired title to 15,000 acres of timbered land.

Chicago industrialist, John B. Perrine, purchased the Brown estate lands in 1909.   Mr. Perrine wrote that he was impressed with the natural advantages, scenic beauty and healthfulness of this bayou country. He called the area Valparaiso, a Spanish word meaning “Vale of Paradise”.  Perrine planned a model community and immediately petitioned Florida Legislature to grant a municipal charter. In 1921 this charter was granted and the City of Valparaiso was created. Perrine died suddenly shortly after the charter was granted.

   James E. Plew purchased a Chicago financier, purchased the assets of the Valparaiso Development Company.  He then organized the Valparaiso Realty Company, with himself as President and his son-in-law, C. W. Ruckel, as secretary.

   In 1935, Mr. Plew laid the foundation of what was to become Eglin Air Force Base. In that year he leased 137 acres of land south of Tom’s Bayou to the City of Valparaiso for the annual sum of one dollar.


U40) Wardville - 1865,

     Located about where the CSX tracks cross the Shoal River, SE of Crestview, it was a stagecoach stop and the 1845 home of Elijah Ward. Named as a voting place for the first Florida state election.(Currenton/Patten)


White Point - 1882-present. T1S, R22W, Sec. 35

     Located on the shore of Choctawhatchee Bay, this was made into a field recreation area and weekend camp for soldiers from Maxwell (later AFB) Field in the 1930s.  The shore juts out into the bay at this location and the white sand in the shallow waters off shore gave the area its name.


L24) Wright - 1921-present, T1S, R24W, Sec. 34, PO 1911-16

     It was not until 1961 that citizens in this portion of the greater Ft. Walton Beach area decided to push for incorporation as Wright.  However, the area had several turpentine mills and had the nickname, “Cracker’s Neck”


L34, 35) Wynnehaven (Beach) - 1936-present, T2S, R25W, Sec. 18 & 19

     Located along Hwy 98, east of Florosa,


U61) Yellow River – T3N, R24W, Sec. 3, 1871

Major waterway transport in (now) Okaloosa County.  Used for hauling logs, barges filled with supplies going into pioneer communities and products coming from logging and turpentine camps.

lower Okaloosa county, Fl map