History of Bay County

History of Bay County


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lived on the Bay. The summer visitors were much interested in education and a female seminary was established for their accomodation. Once a week mail was brought in on house back from Marianna. 
No title to any lands on or near St. Andrews Bay passed from the United States Government until about 1834. U. S. patents were issued to about a dozen people in the Bay county area before 1880, and most of those lands passed on to others later by tax deeds. 
During the second Seminole War (1834-1842) wandering Indians in this territory caused much trouble. The Indians were not natives in the [sic] Bay [county]. 
Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz, the writer, was well known at St. Andrews, where she spent summers with her daughter, Mrs. Julia Keyes from 1851-1856. She is buried in Marianna, her winter home. Much of her writing deals with the territory around the Bay. 
A map of 1856 shows 32 buildings in the city of St. Andrews. This was the only settlement on the Bay. Silas Stearns, in Geographical Review of the Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Western Florida says that in 1850-1860 St. Andrews had a population of more than 1200. (This population included people at Watson Mill, a sawmill nearby, and all people living near St. Andrews. Sawmills were in operation, and shipping was carried on. The port had a custom officer, but his work was light. 
Fishing was the most important industry. Fishermen salted the fish, put them in barrels, and either sold them to plantation owners who came to St. Andrews to buy their supplies, or hauled them into the interior to sell at the plantations. During the Civil War, St. Andrews was destroyed by the Federals and fishing, as an industry, stopped. After the war, about 1873 the industry


State Library of Florida, WPA - Historical Records Survey, County Histories


Brief history of Bay County, Florida collected by the Works Progress Administration's Historical Records Survey.

Note to Researchers: Though the WPA field workers included extensive citations for the factual information contained in these county histories, it should be noted that these historical narratives were produced in the 1930s by federal government employees, and might reflect the inherent social biases of the era.