There are several James McLeans in the early history of Walton County. This one is discussed in John Love McKinnon’s book, History of Walton County.
A gentleman named Anthony Brownell built a large hotel near what we now know as Ponce de Leon State Park. The hotel did well for an unspecified amount of time until the Civil War reduced its use. The building was abandoned and left to decay. James McLean purchased the land at some point and wished for the land and its spring to be left in their natural state.