History of Bay County

History of Bay County


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many of the houses were burning. Browne reported the destruction of thirty two houses, but it is believed that he [exaggerated] the real number. 
This bombardment and burning came as retaliation for the preceeding incident. By the end of the war little was left of the settlement. Development was slow, but in 1867 a group of Marianna men met to discuss the building of a railroad North from St. Andrews Bay into Georgia. In 1886 the St. Andrews Bay Railroad Land and Mining Company was formed with J. H. Brown as one of its promoters. He had been employed as Postal Inspector in [Cincinnati], Ohio where he obtained the knowledge of Postal laws that kept the company clear of the law. 
It has been said that some 350,000 lots were sold in this section to people in the United States. Many people wrote to the Florida governor asking for his advice before purchasing land, and were told that they should see the land first. Others fascinated by the advertisements, purchased lots and came to Florida, only to find that their property was valueless and that the proposed railway had fallen through. Some of those who came stayed and started settlements of their own. A newspaper, the “Messenger” was started, followed by the “Buoy”. The population of St. Andrews is said to have reached nearly 2,500 during this time. 
Among the settlements established by Northerners enticed into these parts by the St. Andrews Bay Railroad, Land and Mining Company was Parker (settled by W. H. Parker), and Cromanton (named after W. M. Croman) both of which have their own postoffices. Lynn Haven, a northern settlement, was founded by Senator W. H. Lynn, of New York. It is incorporated and has its own post office.  


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.