James T. Sherman of Brodhead, Wisconsin, was the original owner of the home that is now known as Sunbright Manor. Construction started on the house about 1886, and it was finished around 1890. Sherman, who was a successful merchant, used the house as the winter residence for his family.
The Monroe [Wisconsin] Evening Times published this note on January 28, 1892:
Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Sherman will leave the first of next week for [DeFuniak] Springs, Florida to attend the Golden Wedding Anniversary of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Sherman which occurs Feb. 9.
The exterior of the house has a tower and multiple porches, which are supported by 33 columns and 1,600 spindles. There are four fireplaces throughout the house. In 1924, the house became the first in Walton County to have indoor bathrooms. That same year, the house was purchased by former Florida Governor Sidney Johnston Catts, who lived there until his death in 1936.
[Accession Nos. 2005-4-1 and 2005-4-2]