Walton County Heritage Association
Museum & Genealogy Society

Preserving the History and Heritage of Walton County, Florida

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Allison's Groceries

Allison's Grocery began in 1931 as a produce stand on Route 90 in DeFuniak Springs. It prospered as a grocery and general market until Feenie Allison, at age 89, ceased operations after 61 years. Allison's Grocery sold everything from food to clothing, and Mrs. Allison kept items on the shelves until they sold. When the store closed in 1992, it contained spices from the 1930s, toys from the 1950s, and clothing from the 1960s. Our exhibit includes a portrait of Mrs. Allison, items from her store, and even a song written about her. Unfortunately, the building was demolished in 2005.

H & M Hotdog continues to be one of the most popular lunch spots in DeFuniak Springs. For many years it was run by two sisters, Maggie Davis and Merle Carter, without the benefits of a calculator or a telephone. Before they left home each morning, they would call the Thriftway Market to let the butcher know how much hamburger meat they would need that day. H & M Hotdog has been featured in numerous publications, including Southern Living magazine. Our exhibit includes the spatula used to make the first hamburger at H & M Hotdog.

Hotel Defuniak

Hotel DeFuniak built in 1920.


Education in Walton County

Memorabilia from the various schools and colleges of Walton County.

Defuniak Springs

Defuniak Springs is the current county seat for Walton County. It contains some of the most beautiful Victorian homes and buildings concentrated in one location. Visit the Walton County Heritage Museum and then take a walking tour of the homes around Lake DeFuniak.

Chautauqua Display

DeFuniak Springs became the winter home of the New York Chautauqua in 1885. As many as 4,000 people arrived by train to attend the seminars. Our display includes a model of the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, which is on Lake DeFuniak and still in use today, Chautauqua program, and books about Chautauqua and its history. Also featured is a display of items that belonged to Wallace Bruce, a president of the Chautauqua and the man responsible for building the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, and items from his estate.

Back in the Day
Agricultural and industrial life of Walton County is represented by a horse-drawn buggy and tools related to farming, turpentine and other industries in the county.

Sidney J. Catts was a Baptist preacher who was elected Governor of Florida in 1917. The museum has photographs from his term as governor, his bowler hat, and one of the gowns worn by his wife while she was First Lady of Florida. Below is "Sunbright Manor," which served as the Catts' residence in DeFuniak Springs after he was governor.

Sunbright Manor

While at the museum, enjoy a 30-minute video, History and Homes of DeFuniak Springs, which explores the history and homes of historic Circle Drive as well as many of the businesses on Baldwin Avenue. The museum also has many photographs of early businesses and historic homes as well as portraits of early Walton County residents.

Lady of the Lake

Mrs. Rubye Burton, who lived on the circle, hand hooked this rug in the 1960s. She cut beige wool into strips and hand-dyed them, thereby creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. At the time of its completion, it was the largest known hand-hooked rug in the country.


©2007-2018 The Walton County Heritage Association, Inc.