Postcards from the Past

Eden State Gardens and the Wesley House (circa 1898), Pt. Washington, Fla. Timber for the house was cut nearby and floated down the Choctawhatchee River. Live oaks on the property pre-date the house, which was home to heirs of the Wesley Lumber Company until 1953. The house was donated to the State of Florida by Lois Maxon in 1968,

Walton-DeFuniak Library (circa 1887). The oldest continually operating library in Florida – housing books from its earliest days, a collection of weapons and armor, and a variety of donated antiques.

The Chautauqua Auditorium, also known as the Hall of Brotherhood, Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, Fla. It was completed in 1909 at a cost of $28,000 and for years thereafter was used for everything from basketball games to dances. A 4,000-seat auditorium at the rear was heavily damaged in a 1975 hurricane and had to be removed.

Installed at the corner of Baldwin Avenue and 7th Street in 1924, this four-faced clock stands as a reminder of First National Bank’s contributions to DeFuniak Springs. The 12-foot tall clock was made by the O.B. McClintock company. The bank’s successor, SunTrust, agreed to leave the clock downtown when they relocated to US 331 South.

Murrays Theatre (circa 1919), Baldwin Ave., DeFuniak Springs, Fla. Currently known as the Ritz Theatre, this historic site is owned by the Florida Chautauqua, a non-profit organization which is currently working to raise funds for restoration of the building.

Veterans’ memorial and Walton County Courthouse, DeFuniak Springs, Fla.

U.S. Highway 90 (also known as Nelson Avenue) through the DeFuniak Springs o the 1940s. Looking east from 9th Street, the building on the right is now the Hotel DeFuniak.

A view of the past in the DeFuniak Springs of about 1920. This photo was taken looking west on Baldwin Avenue.

The Walton Hotel, formerly known as the Chautauqua Hotel, graced Circle Drive in DeFuniak Springs, Fla. from 1887 to the 1960s. It was located where the Gulf Power building now stands.

View from the porch of the Walton Hotel, a haven for romantic couples and weary travelers for many years. DeFuniak Springs, Florida.

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