Have you ever wondered why you live in an area? Or how that city grew in popularity to what it is today? From New York City to Los Angeles, cities across the United States have played a big role in the country’s development.
We know about Panama City, Florida’s legendary Spring breaks, bay-front hotels, and close-to-paradise living. But, Panama City wasn’t always the vacation spot on St. Andrews Bay that we know today. Let’s dive into Panama City, Florida’s rich history, and learn more about how the city came about.
Panama City as we know it dates back to the early 1900s when the small communities of St. Andrews, Millville, Harrison, and Floriopolis were incorporated into one. Spanish exploration grew the area then, but Native American people were here long before.
When the Spanish first explored the region of Bay County in the 17th century, they found both the Chatot and Yuchi people living there. The area was believed to be extensively populated with native peoples because St. Andrew’s Bay provided a rich natural food source.
While it’s not clear if the Yuchi of St. Andrew’s Bay were the same Yuchi of the Southern Highlands, the Yuchi claim to be native to the Southeast, making it plausible that the two groups were one. The stories of the precursor peoples of precolonial America are always fascinating and often mysterious.
Around the beginning of the 20th century, town leaders — including Great Floridian George M. West — deliberated on a name for their freshly incorporated city. With a strategy for growth in mind, George M. West, Bayline Railroad founder A.B. Stelle, and the others decided on “Panama City.”
Panama City might be a little confusing because there was already a relatively well-known city with the same name in the South American country of Panama. These are very different cities across two continents but have an exciting connection.
During the founding of Panama City, Florida, the United States government completed the enormous infrastructure project of the Panama Canal. It just so happened that Panama City, Florida was the closest developed port to the Panama Canal on the U.S. mainland. The thinking was that the name would draw attention to this fact, boosting commercial development and international trade.
After the canal’s completion, Panama City, Florida and Panama City, Panama took off in terms of growth, owing to their relationship to the canal.
America at large experienced an industrial boom during and after WWII. The Florida Panhandle was no exception, and neither was Panama City. This new industrial age brought a population boom, too. This population growth set the scene for the thriving tourism and recreation industries that we know the city for today.
Ordinary Americans, enjoying new prosperity, couldn’t get enough of the white-sand beaches and Emerald waters of the Gulf Coast. More and more Americans were taking vacations and beach trips to the coast. Panama City, Florida’s natural beauty made it a prime destination.
If you’re looking to purchase or sell property in historic Panama City, Florida, let the experts at Counts Real Estate Group help you navigate the market so you can enjoy the beautiful white-sand beaches more. Counts Real Estate in Panama City, FL has the experience and know-how to get you the best possible results.