I’m a little bit of a history buff so I took an opportunity and did a little research on the history of South Walton. It seems that our stunning beaches were created by the weathering of the Appalachian Mountains over millions of years. Particles of quartz from the Appalachians were washed into riverbeds and eventually transported by these rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. The ebb and flow of the water over this long distance broke down these particles and buffed their edges, making the sand as fine as sugar when it finally reached the Florida Panhandle. The reflection of the sun on the white sandy bottom of the Gulf of Mexico creates the water’s brilliant turquoise hue!
There was some activity along the beach. However, the federal government owned much of the land and few people had reason to settle there. The soil was too sandy and the lumber industry was better inland. Port Washington was the closest settlement to the Grayton Beach area. Five years later, William Miller and William Wilson moved their families to the Grayton Beach area and mapped out a town.
Reaching Grayton Beach was not easy due to a lack of bridges and no real roads. But, the Butlers made the trip from De Funiak and decided to stay. The Butler family decided to start a resort and built some cottages and operated a general store and dance hall. As bridges were built, Grayton started booming. And is still booming today.
If you explore Grayton Beach you”ll find a host of lovely shops – many filled with beautiful things for your home. I can tell you that Grayton has a big night life, also. Music fills the air as you pass Pandora’s and we all know about the happenings at the Red Bar.
I have a feeling that Grayton Beach’s future will be as full as its past as a viable part of 30A!