Milton Press Gazette

Articles about Pace and Floridatown

Contributed by Myrtle Weekley

Used with permission from Milton Press-Gazette, Michael Coulter, Publisher

1912 September


Mr. J. R. M. Gates, who recently purchased the Floridatown-Ferry Pass Ferry boat, and the privilege of operating the same between these two points, was in Milton this morning. Mr. Gates says he has had the hull of this boat thoroughly remodeled, cleaned and put in excellent order. He has also had the machinery put in first class shape, and now has the boat in service again after a few weeks off duty. This boat is operated between Floridatown and Ferry Pass, and is the original ferry connection between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Mr. Gates has arranged as convenient a schedule as possible which is given in his advertisement found on another page of this issue. This will be an added convenience to the traveling public, as it will furnish additional opportunities for crossing the Escambia.

1912 September


The Ferry Pass landing of the Floridatown ferry has been moved to the end of the main road and is now located at the point known as the old store house. The change eliminates the sawdust road and was made to facilitate auto traffic to and from the ferry.

1912 September


Messrs. W. C. Rhoades and W. W. Harrison, who recently purchased the Missing Link ferry at Mulat, closed a deal last week with Mr. Murphy whereby they became the owners of the Floridatown ferry also; believing that they could better serve the public by devoting their attention to the operation of one ferry, they have discontinued the Missing Link and will improve and enlarge the Floridatown ferry and handle the business over it.

The schedule will remain the same as it has been until the first of October, when it is probable that a new schedule will be put on, which will be announced in this paper.

1912 September


Floridatown, located nine miles from Milton and about the same distance from Pensacola on the Escambia Bay, is one of the beauty spots of West Florida. Here fishing, oystering, hunting, boating, bathing and camping out are enjoyed by hundreds. Floridatown is coming more and more to be the resort of tile busy business man, who can transact his business in either Milton or Pensacola during the day and spend his evenings and nights at his summer home on the bay. We have to offer in Floridatown,

One block, choice water front property. $200.00 for outside lots, $150 for inside lots and $100.00 for lots not fronting bay.

1912 October


The traveling public, as well as the friends of the parties concerned in the transaction will be interested in learning that Mr. H. A. Brosnaham, one of the wide-awake saw mill, lumber and business men of this section of the State, has purchased the Floridatown and Mulat ferry interests from Mr. W. C. Rhoades, who has been operating the same for some months past. Mr. Brosnaham, who expects to give the business his personal attention expects to take charge of it at once, and will shortly arrange and announce a new time schedule. However, the old schedule is still in effect, and the ferry will be operated at present as heretofore. Mr. Brosnaham is an energetic business man and will doubtless make a success of this business.

1912 October


An admiralty proceeding against the Floridatown ferry boat, the Missing Link, by which the boat was taken in custody by the U. S. Marshal, was issued yesterday from the office of Clerk F. W. Marsh of the U. S. District Court.

This action was taken following the filing Monday of a damage suit against the operators of the ferry, Simon Otis, W. W. Harrison and W. C. Rhoades by Mrs. Rosa Maddox and her husband. The boat will be held in custody by the authorities. until $25,000 bond is furnished.

The proceeding grew out of an accident at the ferry about a week ago when Mrs. Maddox and a lady friend fell into the water and are alleged to have been painfully injured, while going off the ferry. -- Pensacola Journal.

The above article published in several of the papers of West Florida is misleading and works an injustice to the present owners of the Floridatown ferry, as it is distinctly the Missing Link, and in no sense the Floridatown Ferry that is involved in this difficulty. The Floridatown Ferry was not owned by Messrs. Rhoades and Harrison at the time this accident occurred, and is not owned by them now.

Mr. H. A. Brosnaham is the present owner of this Ferry and states that it is making her regular runs using the Mulat landing, however, instead of the Floridatown landing, it being in better condition than the other.

1912 October

1912 October


After having been off duty for some little time undergoing complete, repairs, the new Floridatown Ferry will resume operations Saturday. The present ferry is the largest and best ferry ever operated across Escambia bay or river, and is so equipped that the owners, Messrs. Harrison and Rhoades say it will be possible to operate it in all kinds of weather and upon the regular schedule.

The new run will be from Floridatown on the Santa Rosa side to the old Missing Link landing on the Escambia side of the bay. The trip now will be an all-bay trip, not entering the river, as heretofore, at all. This is the only ferry now being operated between Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.

In order to keep the public informed of the operations of this means of travel, the owners will carry their schedule in the Gazette each issue.



The following toll was prescribed by the Board of County Commissioners at their meeting of January 9, 1913.

  • Single team one way 25¢
  • Single team two ways 40¢
  • Double team one way 35¢
  • Double team two ways 60¢
  • Single horse one way 15¢
  • Single horse two ways 25¢
  • Log team 15¢ yoke and 25¢ for log cart
  • Horses, beef cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, 5¢ each for 10 or more, for lots less than 10, 10¢ each
  • Automobiles 35¢ one way 60¢ round trip.

The above toll should be charged to the citizens crossing the Ferry.

1914 June


The Hotel Comfort of Floridatown, will commence the season with a Grand Opening, Friday, June 19th, 1914. The following program has been arranged for the day: Dinner from 12:20 until 2:00 p. m. Music and dancing from 3:00 p. m. until 6 p.m. Supper from 6:30 until 8:00 p. m. Dancing from 8:00 p. m. until 11:00 p.m. Bathing, fishing and boating from 2:00 p. m. until 11:00 p. m.

This offers a splendid opportunity to enjoy a delightful day's outing at one of Florida's most delightful Summer Resorts. Come out and enjoy the day where Nature has displayed her highest art in making a pleasant play-ground for young and old.

Good order will be preserved on the grounds.

pd adv* W. W. GEDDIS, Proprietor.

1915 Winter


The Sunday school is holding its own despite the winter weather which has prevailed for several Sundays past.

That new room promised by the county for the school building is a long time showing up. This third room is badly needed, the children being badly crowded in the building. The enrollment is about one hundred. Prof. Stripling and Miss Stewart are doing excellent work as teachers in the public school here.

The Pilgrim, Captain Dilger's boat, which plies between Floridatown and Pensacola is doing a nice business of late.

Work on the ferry wharf is progressing nicely under the supervision of Messrs. P. E. Heller and N. Land. There will soon be little or no excuse for irregular ferry trips.

The big saw mill of the Nobles Timber Co., at Ferry Pass is in full operation this winter. This splendid plant turns out a great deal of lumber and timber. It also affords employment for a goodly number of workmen.

Mrs. A. P. Harde has just returned from a very pleasant trip to Alabama. The younger members of the Harde family have also reached Floridatown and are with their parents at the Bayview Hotel.



The ferry wharf, at Floridatown, which the recent low tides have demonstrated to be inadequate is now being extended by the owner, Mr. R. E. Lewis. The idea is now to extend the wharf two hundred and fifty feet further out into the bay, reaching a point that will insure a depth of water sufficient for the landing of the Ferry at all times. This is a good move on the part of Mr. Lewis, and one that will meet the hearty approval of the traveling public.



Word was received at this office Thursday that the office which was recently authorized by the Department at Floridatown has been opened for the convenience of the people of that locality. This is a good boost for Floridatown, and we believe will be patronized by a goodly number of people, as Floridatown is constantly receiving new settlers and is rapidly becoming the center of a very considerable population. Rev. J. C. Harrison is the Postmaster of the new office.




The Board of County Commissioners which was in session all day Tuesday transacted much business of importance to the county.

The report of the county officials were received and ordered filed.

Several petitions asking for permits to carry firearms were received and acted upon, some being granted while others were denied, there not appearing to be a sufficient need in some cases to warrant the granting of such permission. In this connection, the Board passed a Resolution requiring all applicants desiring permits to carry fire-arms, in the future, to appear before the Board and present their petitions in person.

The Board endorsed a resolution to Santa Rosa Legislators requesting them to oppose a division of the County in any manner.

The question of tolls for the transporting of passengers across Escambia from Floridatown to Ferry Pass was taken up and the following rates fixed upon:

Ferry Tolls.

  • (Crossing One Way.)
  • Foot Passenger 50¢.
  • One man and horse $1.00.
  • One man, horse and buggy $1.50.
  • Two men, horse and buggy $1.75.
  • One man, two horses and buggy or wagon $2.00.
  • One automobile roadster $1.50.
  • One automobile, Touring car 6 passenger $2.50.
  • One log cart and one yoke of oxen $2.00
  • One log cart and two yoke oxen $3.00.
  • One log cart and three yoke of oxen $3.75.
  • One log cart and four yoke of oxen $4.50.
  • Each head of cattle, not exceeding ten head 25¢ per head.
  • Each head of cattle not exceeding 100 head 20¢ per head.
  • Each head of cattle exceeding 200 head 15¢ per head.
  • Each head of hogs, goats, sheep not exceeding 50 head 15¢ per head.
  • Each head of hogs, goats, sheep not exceeding 150 bead 10¢ per head.



By the end of the present month the big steam ferry boat which is to ply between Floridatown and Ferry Pass, affording a means of communication between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties almost as effective as a bridge, is expected to be completed and in operation. The inauguration of this ferry service will remove one of the obstacles in the way of the proposed branch of the Dixie Highway from Pensacola to Jacksonville.

The hull and upperworks of the big ferry boat, which is the enterprise of R. E. Lewis, of Floridatown, are complete and the craft will be ready for operation as soon as the machinery is installed. The big boat will be capable of carrying four or five cars at a trip, and possibly twice as many buggies and wagons can be accommodated at onetime.

Three Miles Wide.

The ferry will connect the graded road from Milton to Floridatown with the hard road from Pensacola to Ferry Pass. The width of the bay from Floridatown to Ferry Pass is three miles and it is estimated that the boat can make the trip in about thirty minutes, almost as quickly as the river could be crossed on a bridge.

Mr. Lewis has secured a franchise for ten years and will shortly furnish the bond required for the enterprise. It is the intention of Mr. Lewis to put vehicles across the river for a nominal fare. The schedule of prices will be announced later.

The bridge across the Blackwater river at Milton will enable autoists to go from Pensacola to Jacksonville without getting off the direct line mapped out for that branch of the Dixie Highway when the Floridatown ferry is in operation.

1915 Spring


Work is progressing here on every hand. Farms are being cleared and fenced, land is being prepared for vegetables and fruit trees. On every side there is the appearance of hustle and business. Houses are being erected, rebuilt, removed or remodeled here and there and the whole appearance of things generally is being changed from time to time.

The recent work of Mr. J. M. Snead and others on the main road from Floridatown to Mulat is being highly commended. This road is being graded and widened and will intersect the graded road from Pace to Mulat at a print about two miles from Floridatown, thus, going a splendid road for automobiles or other vehicles.

The new ferry of Mr. R. E. Lewis' will be ready for launching in about thirty days. This ferry will leave from Floridatown and Ferry Pass on regular schedule and will put teams or autos across the upper bay in a very short time. It is estimated that only about thirty minutes will be required to make a crossing. The ferry will be large enough to carry at least four automobiles across at one time. It goes without saying that the venture will be a paying proposition.

Work is being finished on one nice residence this week. Work is to be commenced upon another very fine residence within the present week. Other residences are in contemplation for the near future and business houses will be built within a short while.

The Floridatown Sunday School is growing rapidly. Mr. Heller is making a splendid superintendent. The average attendance is about 75 and interest is good all the time. all the time. Rev. J. C. Harrison or Rev. W. L. Graves preaches each Sunday to our people. They expect to open the big Seashore Camp Meeting about the first of June. It is expected that by that date many people will be here for the summer.

Fishing is opening up here after a lag on account of the cold weather. Red fish are biting again and some water trout are being caught occasionally. Fishing will continue to get better from this time on to late in the fall.

1915 Spring


The work on the big steam ferry which is to cross the bay at this point is progressing rapidly. The framing is almost completed and shortly the work of installing the machinery will be commenced. The channel has been dredged out and the wharf has been almost completed. In all probability the ferry will be ready for regular service within three weeks. This will be far the greatest adjuncts to general development in this section that has ever been arranged for. It will form what has heretofore been a missing link in private travel between the sections east and west and north and south Of Escambia Bay. Mr. Nathan Land is overseeing the work of constructing the ferry boat, and he is having it done to a nicety. Mr. David Lewis will superintend the machinery adjustment.

Mrs. F. H. Townsend, of Cleveland, 0., who has spent much of the winter has recently returned to her northern home. While here Mrs. Townsend purchased two of Floridatown's choicest residence lots and will erect a handsome winter home upon them in the late summer.

Dr. Z. V. Johnston and his father-in-law, Mr. Talbert, paid Floridatown a pleasant visit Thursday.

Miss Vesta Lee Dilger, who is attending the Pensacola High School, is spending the week-end with her parents, Capt. and Mrs. R. L. Dilger. in Floridatown, much to the delight of her many friends.

Mrs. C. L. Batchelor, who has been spending much of the past winter with Mr. and Mrs. Otis Chapman at Pace, will leave shortly for her home in Birmingham. Ala., to spend several weeks. Mrs. Batchelor is a trained nurse and she has made many warm friends in this section.

Mrs. Morganthaler of Cleveland, 0., who has been the guest of Mrs. Townsend at the Bayview Hotel here, left this week for her home.

Mr. P. E. Heller and Mr. Ottis Chapman had the misfortune to have quite a number of their beautiful young orange trees stolen last week. This is a new sort of thievery which has recently be started in several sections of West Florida. A sharp lookout is being kept for the thieves.

Miss Floy Harrison's private school will be treated to a picnic in the woods near Floridatown Saturday. This is the first picnic of the season and the little folks who attend her school will no doubt enjoy do the outing.

The wild flowers are in full bloom here at present and the woodland presents a beautiful appearance. No place can boast of prettier scenery that Floridatown.



Mr. A. P. Hardee of Alabama who recently purchased the Floridatown hotel from Rev. J. C. Harrison, after having sold to Harrison and Graves the entire Floridatown holdings some months ago, was a Milton visitor Monday. Mr. Hardee, says he expects to move his family to Floridatown in the near future, and that he is contemplating making extensive improvements there. He expects to build a two-story pavilion out over the bay that will be dedicated to amusements. The first story will consist of bath apartments equipped on the most modern, up-to-date lines, while the upper story will consist of a dancing and lounging pavilion. Mr. Hardee is a firm believer in the future possibilities of Floridatown as a pleasure resort, and expects to devote a good deal of time and money in meeting Nature in making this one of the most delightful resorts in West Florida.



The Floridatown schools opened Monday with an enrollment of 83, the largest that it has ever had. In fact the enrollment is so large that it will be necessary to employ the third teacher to take care of the schools. This speaks well for this progressive community.



Mr. Joe Lewis has the wharf rebuilt for the ferry. The "liter" is crossing on schedule now.

The public school was honored by visits from Messrs. Diamond and Sheats, the county and state superintendents of education last Friday. Mr. Sheats conducted a spelling match and addressed the school. The children say they had a fine time in school Friday afternoon. Minnie Lewis stood up the longest in the spelling match. Bertha Sampley and Ruth Graves were complimented by Mr. Sheats for good penmanship.

Mr. Stripling and Miss Stewart are making good in the schools at Floridatown. More than eighty pupils answer roll call each day. Another room is needed.

Rev. J. C. Harrison and children are recovering from dengue fever.



Quite a lot of development is going on here at present. Among those having their tracts put in condition for immediate cultivation might be mentioned Mr. E. J. Fillingim, Rev. A. F. Phenix, Mr. T. J. Coleman and others

Duck shooting has been the order of the day here for the past fifteen days. Quite a number of nice fowls have been killed by the sportsmen who indulge in hunting.

The death of Mr. Bud Ard at the family residence here last Thursday night cast a shadow over the community. Mr. Ard was one of the oldest citizens of Santa Rosa county and had been quite ill for some time. His death was not unexpected. He has resided near Floridatown all his life, having been born here about 70 years ago. He leaves a widow and several grown sons and daughters to mourn his death. He was buried near Chumuckla Saturday.

Mr. Lewis has the ferry in regular operation again between Floridatown and Ferry Pass. The wharf will soon be completed out to deep water on the Floridatown side and there will be no inconvenience as heretofore caused by the grounding of the ferry.

Mr. Hubert Gillespie is at home from Andalusia for the holidays.

Several families are expected to arrive from Alabama within the next few days to take up their abode here. Floridatown extends a cordial welcome to all good citizens.

Mr. Seaborn Land got two young coons up one tree one day last week near here and captured both of them. He expects to sell them in Pensacola as "Florida Souvenirs."

A crowd of huntsmen from Pensacola and Escambia county came out via the ferry Thanksgiving and succeeding in bagging about two hundred birds, so the reports have it. Look out, boys, the game warden is hot on your trail.

Several local people are setting out cabbage plants for the early spring market. No land like this coast land for vegetables and fruit.

Quite a large crowd of Milton people were out Sunday afternoon, despite the inclement weather. The graded road between Floridatown and Milton appeals to autoists as one of the best in the state.

The improvements that have been made by Mr. Hardee at the Bayview Hotel are attracting much attention and causing favorable comment. The water works, lavatories and other modern conveniences add much to the comfort of the guests. The big hotel has been painted inside and is now one of the most attractive hostelries on the gulf coast.

The Floridatown postoffice is doing a nice little business and is proving a great convenience to all the people here.

The Floridatown public school, though greatly crowded, is doing a splendid work. Another room ought to be added to the building and another teacher on the teaching force. Three teachers are badly needed all the time in the school here.



A Clean Place for Clean People.

The New "Hotel Comfort,"

Floridatown, Florida.

Everything New and Sanitary. Rates $2.00 per day, $7.50 per week.

A. P. HARDEE, Proprietor


Go To Floridatown



Fishing, Boating, Salt Water Bathing, Dancing and a general good time. Everything conducted in a decent and orderly manner. The big Bay View Hotel now open for the summer season with modern conveniences. For weekly rates and reservations, write


Week End Rates - - - $1.50 Per Day

1915 May


There will be a big dance on the new Floridatown Pavilion Friday night, May 21st. A fine floor and good music assures a good time to all who enjoy dancing. Everybody cordially invited to come.

1915 June


Floridatown, June 2 -- The steam ferry boat which is to ply regularly between Floridatown and Ferry Pass is expected to go into commission Saturday, June 5th. She is receiving the finishing touches and her machinery has been installed. Messrs. Dave Lewis and Nathan Land have had charge of the construction work. They have been ably assisted by Mr. Elmer Guernsey and others. Mr. Lewis announces that he will be very reasonable in his charges when the ferry is placed in operation. He says he will charge $1.25 for a roadster automobile and $2.00 for a big touring car. Other vehicles will be about in accordance with the above prices. The ferry will make trips every day between Floridatown and Ferry Pass. Eight to ten automobiles can be accommodated at a single trip.

Mrs. H. G. Gallespie and daughter, Miss Estelle, are expected to arrive at home this week from Brewton, where they have been spending the past few weeks with relatives and friends.

Floridatown's crack base ball team played the Mulat team at that place Saturday afternoon. The score was decided in favor of the Floridatown bunch. The boys report having had a very enjoyable trip to Mulat.

Miss Jennie Heller, who has been teaching school at Jeddo, Ala., for past eight months, is spending her vacation in Floridatown visiting her brother, Mr. P. E. Heller.

Mr. Ray Dilger of Birmingham, Ala., is spending the summer with the family of his brother, Capt. R. L. Dilger, much to the delight of our young people.

Mr. Peter Nowling and family are among the recent families to move into Floridatown.

Several parties have been spending some time in and around Floridatown, fishing and recreating. Fish are biting again after quite a spell of "watchful waiting."

Messrs. Wiley Land and W. L. Graves have become quite famous recently for bee tree experiences. They cut one bee tree out of which they took about 125 pounds of fine honey. Others will be cut as soon as they "fill up." Stings not counted.

The setting out of sweet potatoes is fast becoming an art in this section. We are learning how to do it successfully without much rain. The rains have been conspicuous by their absence this spring.

General F. E. Day of Milton and Messrs. Harry Day, McCreary and Gaillard of Evergreen were visitors to Floridatown this week.

Blackberries and huckleberries are excellent. Come out, Mr. Editor, and help yourself.

1915 June


When the steam ferry boat was mad ready for her initial trip Friday afternoon an unfortunate break occurred which will delay the maiden voyage until sometime during the present week. The steam was turned on the big stern wheel which had made only a few revolutions when the chain cog wheel crashed into several pieces. This caused another to b necessary and this is being made at the foundry, which will require three or four more days. It is expected that all will be in readiness for regular business by the last of this week. Mr. Lewis has greatly reduced the charges fixed by the county commissioners as a maximum rate of toll and it is predicted that he will do a splendid business from the very first opening of the ferry line. The ferry boat is capable of carrying ten small or eight large automobiles at a single trip and other vehicles in proportion.

Mr. and Mrs. J. D. C. Newton have reached Floridatown and taken up their abode at the Newton summer camp "Egeria" for the opening summer.

Mrs. D. G. Gallespie and daughter, Miss Estelle, returned Saturday from a visit of several weeks at Brewton, Alabama.

General Frank E. Day, Messrs. McCreary, Gaillard and Harry Day of Evergreen, Ala.; Mr. George Adams, Mrs. Adams, and daughter and Mr. Grady Adams of Andalusia, Ala.; Mr. Reynolds and wife and Miss Sallie Adams of Atlanta, Ga.; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Cunningham and son, Arthur, of Evergreen, Ala., spent much of the past week in Floridatown.

Rev. W. L Graves and several members of his family together with Miss Geneva James and the family of Mr. Jim Lee spent Sunday visiting down on Trout Bayou.

The friends of Mr. Hubert Gallespie are enjoying his said boat very much these hot days. The launches are also kept very busy.

The Holiness preacher immersed several members of their church in the waters of Escambia Bay at the Bayview Hotel wharf Sunday afternoon in the presence of a large crowd of people.

The hail Sunday afternoon did only slight damage to growing garden truck in this community.

Mr. P. E. Heller has been on the sick list for the past several days suffering from an old case of neuralgia.

Miss Jennie Heller, who has been principal of the public school at Jeddo, Ala., for the past eight months is visiting her brother, Mr. P. Heller, in Floridatown.

Mr. Ward and family of Pine Barron, Fla., are camping on the bay front for the summer. Mr. Ward has purchased a half interest in a big launch which is being built in Pensacola for bay trading service.

Mr. J. P. Whitley, Mr. Brunner, Miss Liela Brunner, Miss Ruth Ballentine and Mr. J. F. Poore were recent visitors to Floridatown.

1915 June


The extremely hot weather of the past three weeks has caused a great many to come this way to "dip in the salt."

A great many Milton people have been out here during the past two weeks. Several of them "have a weather eye on Floridatown."

Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Whitley and Miss Ruth Ballentine have been holding down the Whitley bungalow in the beautiful grove lying along Santa Rosa Street. They are enjoying their stay very much. Quite a number of Milton people have been out to spend some time with them.

Mr. C. H. Simpson and bride passed through Floridatown Monday en route to Pensacola. They crossed to Ferry Pass on the big steam ferry boat.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sowell went over to Pensacola in their auto Saturday and came back Sunday, having used the ferry.

Messrs. Nowling have been busy for several days removing the old Hardee house to a lot across the street from whom it formerly stood. They have about completed the job.

Work on the summer home of Hon. L. P. Goson has been commenced. Mr. Charles Emmett has the contract and will push the work to completion. This house will face the bay and the park.

The rain Sunday kept many from Sunday school and church.

Mr. and Mrs. Snead are again at Floridatown after an extended stay in Andalusia.

Now that the steam ferry boat is making regular trips the traveling public will shortly "come into its own." Already there are many signs which point to the success of the ferry movement. Many inquiries are made every day concerning the ferry and many are already taking advantage of the enterprise. The regular schedule for each day is as follows: Leave Floridatown wharf at 8 a. m. and leave Ferry Pass at 9:30 a. m. Leave Floridatown wharf at 3 p. m. and leave Ferry Pass at 4:30 p. m. Special trips will be made if notification is given in due time. The ferry is amply large and very safe for travel of all kinds. The price for an automobile and party one way is $1.25. Both ways $2. Mr. Lewis reports a very flattering business thus far, even though much trouble was experienced at first in getting the machinery all adjusted. All defects having been overcome there is now no good reason why the ferry should not be a great convenience and success.

Quite a crowd of Santa Rosa people is expected out here Saturday, July 3. People out here also expect to get the first view of Milton's aeroplanes Monday on their way from the Navy Yard to the Milton tournament. It is expected they will pass this way.

1915 July


Floridatown, Florida


For more than 30 years it has been the custom to hold a picnic at Floridatown on the Fourth. The Custom will be kept up this year, and the best Picnic of that period will be held here on that date.

Come Where the Cooling Breezes Blow.

Come where the salt bathing is unsurpassed

Come where the boating will be unexcelled

Come where there will be all day dancing

Under the shades of the Grand Oaks




1915 June


Floridatown, Fla., June 26 -- Floridatown has been gay with many visitors from Alabama and Georgia, and Florida for the past few weeks. One of the latest crowds to arrive here from Brewton and other South Alabama points was that headed by Mr. McPhaul and Mr. E. M. Lovelace, of Brewton. About fifty members of this party have camped along the bay front and a number of others have taken rooms at the hotel while still others have been lodging with private families. All are having a gay time and enjoying the bathing and boating and fishing very much. The brisk sea breezes have helped to make the spot a veritable paradise for all visitors, especially for those who have come here from inland towns and cities.

Among those who have come here during the past ten days, many of whom will remain indefinitely are: Oscar Corley and Sam Sowell, Brewton; A. D. McPhaul and four sons, Brewton; James Crossley and daughters, Misses Annie and Mary and son, Malone, Missed Ella and Rebecca Malone, Mrs. Eaton and daughter, Miss Marguerite, Albert Smith and family, Chas. Rankin and Buck Smith, Miss Julie Park, Frank Scott, all of Brewton, Ala.; J. E. Hubart and family, Lakeland, Fla., A. B. McPhaul, mother and sister, Miss Hattie, Bay Minette, Ala.; R. Bassett and wife, Jacksonville, Fla.; J. C. Hill and wife, Andalusia, Ala.; Mrs. Lucille McCrory, Macon, Ga.; Mrs. W. B. Folmar and Miss Ida Murphree, Troy, Ala.; Mrs. W. M. Knox and Miss Mary Knox, Andalusia, Ala.; Mr. Ernest Grider, Andalusia, Ala.; Miss Bessie Faircloth, Miss Lily Dhu Kirkpatrick, Miss Mary Emma McDaniel, Milton; Miss Ivan Mayfield, Holland, Texas; Miss Marie Rozier, Opp, Ala.; E. M. Lovelace, wife and son, Brewton; J. M. Robinson, Andalusia, Byron Pennington, Andalusia; M. P. Watson, wife and son, Pollard; Miss Clyde Whitmire, Milton; T. A. Jennings, Misses Mary and Katherine Jennings, Pensacola; W. C. Salter, J. Massey Salter, R. A. McGeachy, Harry W. Thompson, Milton.

One of the largest crowds that ever cam out here assembled Sunday afternoon along the bay front. Several hundred people came from all directions in their cars and the scene was one of the most striking ever witnessed here. It would be next to impossible to record the names of all who came and went in automobiles.



The Floridatown schools opened Monday with an enrollment of 83, the largest that it has ever had. In fact the enrollment is so large that it will be necessary to employ the third teacher to take care of the schools. This speaks well for this progressive community.

1916 July


Reports from Floridatown state that the storm Wednesday swept clean the Bay front at Floridatown, utterly destroying everything along the front. The Escambia Mill Company's wharves, tracks, and store houses together with a large amount of lumber, spirits, and rosin which were on the loading wharf and in the store house are scattered along the beach, or washed out into the bay. The Ferry that has been in operation between Floridatown and Ferry Pass for sometime is also wrecked having been driven several hundred feet inland and covered with a large amount of debris. Nothing Is left of the bathing pavilion operated by the Bayview Hotel, except a few leaning piling.

1916 July


The customary large crowd of pleasure seekers, were out at Floridatown Sunday, there being not less than fifty to seventy-five cars of people to that Popular resort during the day.

While the results of the storm which swept away all improvements on the water front have temporarily put a stop to the bathing, we were assured by Mr. Hardee, the proprietor of the bathing pavilion, that he would have a temporarily Pavilion up again by the time the water of the bay had cleared sufficiently to permit bathing.

The beach is strewn as far as the eye can see with drift wood and other flotsam that makes a heavy fringe around the bay. This drift will soon be removed at Floridatown, as the owners of the wood and timber are already making a move to collect what they can of their property. After the remainder of the debris has dried out it will be burned and the bay front will again be as clean and attractive as before the storm.

Work of repairing the damages to the Escambia piers, tracks and warehouses is already underway, new stringers being laid for the railroad tracks out on the piers, and other signs of rapid repairs being in evidence.

In spite of the fact that this was the worst storm of many years, the damage done to this resort, outside of that done on the water front itself was ail, no trees were blown down and not a single house was damaged, while the water lacked from six to ten feet of reaching the level of the ground where the village proper is located. This speaks well for the location of this resort, and is something that cannot be reported of many sections located on the bay as it is.

1916 July


Traffic has been good between Milton and Pensacola this week by way of Floridatown and the ferry. Capt. Evans with the gasoline barge Freshwater, has been placed on the ferry run for the present and is making the regular schedule. The railroad wharves at Floridatown have been rebuilt and the regular trips of the big boats from Pensacola have been resumed.

The drift wood strewn along the beautiful Floridatown beach by the recent storm is being removed and soon everything will be in good shape for the army of bathers and summer visitors that has been anxiously awaiting another opportunity to spend some of the glad vacation time at this popular seaside resort.

1916 July


Word comes from Floridatown, the seaside resort known as the halfway stop-over on the Old Spanish Trail between Milton and Pensacola that much travel is Passing through there at present and business is humming in many ways.

The Floridatown public school building is being completely renovated by the county school board. The Old Spanish Trail highway between Milton and Floridatown has been clayed and put in tip top condition under the supervision of Messrs. Jim Stewart and Charles McDougal. Several of the homes along the highway have been enlarged and a number of premises cleared up so that travelers from a distance get a better idea of Florida's thrifty citizenship than heretofore.

The work of renovating the Floridatown school building has been done by Messrs. Arthur Jernigan and Chas. Emmett of Milton under the direction of Chairman J. F. Poore of the Santa Rosa school board. It is expected that the school house will be beautifully painted within the next few days, thus adding still more to the view of strangers who travel over the already famous Old Spanish Trail between San Francisco and Tampa.

It is now no unusual sight for three or four cars from the Pacific northwest to pass through Floridatown in a single day, while many more than this number come every few days. It is expected that several hundred cars will pass over this route seeking winter quarters in Florida within the next two months. Many expressions are heard from tourists praising the beauties of Floridatown and other towns along the Old Spanish Trail.

1916 November


Floridatown, Nov. 20-- The purchase of the Floridatown-Ferry Pass ferry boat franchise from Messrs. Lewis & Sons has been made by Capt. J. R. Evans, one of the veteran boatmen of this section.

Capt. Evans is having erected one of the best wharves ever built for such purposes in this section of Florida and expects to have it completed by the last of the present week. This wharf parallels the railroad wharf of the Escambia Land and Manufacturing Co., for more than half the length of the latter and is being made a part of that structure to such an extent as to make it well able to stand practically any storm tide that may come.

The fast ferry boat "Freshwater," which did such splendid and satisfactory service on the Floridatown -Ferry Pass run for some four weeks immediately following the last July storm will again be placed upon the run, and will make the trips across, as before, in approximately twenty minutes.

The schedule to be maintained for the present is as follows:

  • Leave Ferry Pass 6:30 a. m., 10:20 a. m. 5 p. m.
  • Leave Floridatown 8 a. m., 3 p. m., at will on last trip to Ferry Pass.

The Freshwater has been equipped to carry eight automobiles at a single trip and when it is understood that she is the fastest boat doing service on any of the tributaries of the Gulf of Mexico the public will not be slow to appreciate the efforts of Capt. Evans and his associates to establish a record ferry service.

The new line will be ready for regular operation by the 26th inst.



Travel through here over the Old Spanish Trail has been brisk since shortly after Christmas. A number of cars from far-distant states have been among the many that Ferryman Evans has crossed on the Floridatown ferry during the past three weeks. The splendid work which County Commissioner Kean has had done on the road between Milton and Floridatown has called forth much favorable comment already.

J. M. Snead of Andalusia, Ala., was a recent visitor to Floridatown. He still owns considerable real estate here and is a great believer in the future prosperity of Floridatown, where he and his estimable wife spend their summers.

Mr. A. H. Allen and family now occupy the beautiful bungalow on Main Street which was formerly occupied by the Gallasple family. Mr. Allen is master mechanic in the shops of the Escambia Mill Co. at Pace and prefers to reside among the beauties of Floridatown.

Work on the beautiful and commodious Dilger Hotel is progressing rapidly, the building being almost ready for the work of shingling. This hotel promises much for Floridatown, it being both comfortable and convenient. The building will contain a store room, pavilion, cloak room, ice cream parlor and servant's room down stairs. There will be six model bed rooms and two up-to-date sleeping porches up stairs while a roomy hallway will run through the center of both stories with inside stairway beautifully finished to add to the general appearance and convenience of the building. Mr. R. L. Dilger, the owner, expects to have the hotel completed in ample time to handle his share of the spring and summer business.

Mr. Hyde recently moved here from Michigan and is occupying a residence on Main Street. He is preparing to embark in the poultry business, with which he is well acquainted. He believes Floridatown possesses many advantages for the raising of poultry, owing to the splendid climatic conditions prevailing here both winter and summer.

Mr. A. Davis and family have taken the Ben Snead residence on Main street for the year. This residence was occupied during the past year by Mrs. McCaskill, who is at present running the hotel at Pace.

The Floridatown school building has just received two coats of paint and now presents a tidy appearance to all travelers along the Old Spanish Trail. Mr. John T. Coleman did a good job when he painted this building. He and the young people who procured the funds to complete this job deserve much praise.

A number of our young people enjoyed a dance at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. Davis Saturday evening.

A large crowd of our young people attended choir practice at the residence of Mr. R. F. Lewis Friday night. These practice meetings are held each Friday night at the residence of some member of the Sunday School. This week the meeting will be with Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Harrison.

Gardening is commencing in earnest in Floridatown. From all appearances there will be plenty of vegetables to "go round" this year.

The Floridatown public school, which has been presided over very successfully by Miss Hardee and Miss Stewart will. close after another four weeks.

Several gentlemen who contemplate erecting summer cottages along the bay front were prospecting here last week. They are to return in ample time to complete their cottages before the hot weather.

Mr. and Mrs. Z. T. Blackman and Mrs. Kuhl and children have returned from an extended holiday visit to Muligan and other points.

1917 April


There has been a number of seekers after Floridatown land during the recent past. Many persons of the great "middle class," the real back bone of the country, have become interested in the splendid farm tracts which are being sold here. A special low price is being made to any person desiring to cultivate the land and small payments are all that is necessary in order that the land may be bought. Mr. J. C. Harrison, owner of most of the Floridatown property is urging the growing of food crops by all persons who feel able to do so. He reports many interested persons since the war scare came up and offers his property on very easy payments in order to encourage agriculture.

Mr. Price and family now occupy the Newton cottage on the bay front. Mr. Price is night superintendent of the Escambia Mill Co., at Pace.

Word has been received here from Hon. Walter Kehoe to the effect that his efforts to secure the location of a government beacon light to aid the Floridatown ferry boat has been rewarded. The light will be placed at the intersection of the East river mouth and Escambia bay, right alongside of the ferry boat channel between Floridatown and Ferry Pass, at an early date. This will be good news to the many people who travel over The Old Spanish Trail to the east or west. It will enable the ferry--boat captain to traverse the waters of the upper bay at all times of the night with perfect safety. Mr. Kehoe has the thanks of the public for his hard work in this and other matters.

Mr. Livingston is among the new comers to Floridatown. He came over from Pensacola and bought a nice home here. We welcome him to our midst.

Capt. R. L Dilger made a business trip to Pensacola Monday.

Capt. Nick Weakley's new boat, the Monroe W., which has been greatly enlarged and beautified recently is doing a good business between Floridatown and Pensacola these spring days.

The new Dilger Hotel will be thrown open to the public May 1. This is to be one of the best hotels in the gulf coast country. Thus Floridatown will shortly posses two modern resort hotels.

The private school of Miss Ethel Lewis at the Floridatown school house is progressing nicely. She is manifesting considerable talent as one of Santa Rosa's younger teachers.

Fishing on the headwaters is reported to be better with the warm days.

The usual Sunday crowd came out to Floridatown from all directions Sunday and Sunday night.

Some of our people are eating new Irish potatoes grown in Floridatown. This is as it should be. Let everybody grow all the foodstuffs possible.

1917 April


The Dilger Hotel opened most auspiciously last Wednesday and is now fully prepared to give the public accommodations such as will satisfy the most exacting. The opening ball was attended by several hundred people from different parts of the country, a large number having come from Milton and Pensacola. In connection with the new hotel Mr. Dilger will operate a fancy grocery store and confectionery store of considerable proportions.

Mr. Hobart and party of Lakeland. Fla., and Mrs. Miller and party of Brewton, Ala., who have been camping for the past two weeks in the park here, returned to their home.

Mr. W. B. Folmar and party consisting of his wife, his son, Emmett and his daughter- in- law, Mrs. Emmett Folmar, of Troy, Ala., spent several days here the latter part of last week. They drove down from Troy in their auto and report the roads in good condition, except the dust, which has been caused by the present drought.

Mr. J. J. Long, of Bladon Springs. Ala., was a recent visitor to Floridatown.

A number of picnic and bathing parties have been visiting Floridatown during the last two weeks. The breezes here have attracted many people to our bay front.

Mr. Hyde, one of Floridatown's most thrifty truckers, went over to Pensacola Monday to dispose of his Irish potato crop. He has one of the best truck farms of this section. His potatoes of which he will have possibly fifty bushels are bringing a good price and are finding a ready sale.

Mr. D. W. Bell is having his launch the Teal, repaired for use this summer. Mr. Gordon is doing the work.

Capt. John Evans, of the Old Spanish Trail ferry boat has had some very attractive road signs placed along the old Spanish Trail highway. He has been putting a large number of cars across the bay between Floridatown and Ferry Pass within the last month.

Mr. E. J. Fillingim is having the sleeping porch annexed to his residence at the Whitley cottage near the bay front.

Mr. Ellison Livingston is at home again in Floridatown after a very serious attack of blood poisoning at the home of his mother and sister in Pensacola. His friends will be glad to know he is entirely recovered.

Mr. John Fredericks recently sold his residence in Floridatown to Mr. Jim Hinote and the latter will occupy in the future. Mr. Fredericks goes to Pensacola to accept a position with the L/ & N. as baggage master.

Ripe tomatoes home grown are among the present day luxuries of Floridatown life. The gardens need rain, but they are looking good to visitors from other parts of the country where rain is needed worse.

A large barge of 12x12 pine timber is being loaded at the wharf here for immediate shipment to around the world, via Mobile, Ala. This shipment will amount to nearly half million feet.

1917 August


(Special to The Gazette)

It is stated upon good authority that the narrow gauged railroad of the Escambia Land & Manufacturing Company, which has large wharfage facilities here, will shortly be made a standard gauge railroad. This road will most likely connect with the L. & N. at or near Pollard, Ala. In that case the road will cross the Escambia Bay at Floridatown and will go directly into Pensacola over the hill route west of Escambia Bay. This route was surveyed by the L. & N. Railroad after the big storms of last year and had proven the impracticability of the road's present route near the water front. It is understood here that the branch road extending from Pace to Pace Junction will most likely be discontinued as soon as the broad-gauged railroad is finished. The present railroad of the E. L. & Mfg. Co. has a good roadbed and the work of widening the road will not be as great a task as it would seem at first glance. With this railroad and the big bridge across the Escambia bay Floridatown will be able to keep up her rapid strides of prosperity.

1917 August


The crew of public road constructors under the direction and supervision of County

Commissioner Kean and Superintendent Lewis is doing some excellent work on the Floridatown-Milton division of the Old Spanish Trail Highway. The road crew is using the heavy scrapers and graders for the improvement work and they are so thoroughly accomplishing their part of the undertaking that is will doubtless be many months before this road will need any further repairing after they finish their present undertaking.

The work of finishing the residence of Mr. J. McGraney is progressing very satisfactorily.

Mr. Bailey is a recent arrival in Floridatown, where he will make his home for the future.

Mr. R. L. Dilger, proprietor of the New Dilger Hotel, has received his splendid electric lighting plant and is installing it at his hotel. He is also arranging a splendid water system for his property.

The Floridatown public school will open September 3rd, for the 1917-18 session. Prof. Hardy of Chipley, Fla., will be principal and Miss Jernigan will be assistant teacher.

Mrs. R. L. Seals is visiting in Mississippi, where her son will enter school for the coming winter. Mr. Seals will remain here as night superintendent of the Escambia Mill Co.

Miss Lottie Belle Harrison, who is attending a private school in Pensacola for the summer was visiting hone folks here Saturday and Sunday.

Dr. James Thames, company physician for the Escambia Mills Co., has arrived with his family and taken the residence at Floridatown recently vacated by Mr. A. H. Allen, who has removed to Brewton. Mr. Allen was master mechanic for the Escambia Mill Co. for the past year, but recently resigned to accept a more lucrative position at Brewton, his old home.

A number of fishing parties have visited Floridatown recently. They report good catches while the head waters are not too muddy.

A large party from the Baghdad School House neighborhood served a goodly supper on the beach here Saturday night. The party was handled by Messrs. Tom Robinson and H. Whitehead. All report a nice time.

The Sunday School is being enjoyed by our people.

1917 August


The well known ferry boat line which has been operating for the past two years between Floridatown and Ferry Pass on the Milton to Pensacola link of the Old Spanish Trail Highway was this week purchased by Mr. John W. Gates of Escambia County, who will greatly improve the line and continue to operate it.

Mr. Gates is dredging out the big bar which has been a source of considerable trouble to the ferry, especially at very low tides. He will improve the ferry and add special engine power so that the trip can be made across the bay in about fifteen to twenty minutes, thus greatly facilitating travel over the trail both east and west.

The new owner of the ferry line has secured the use of the big bayou on the Ferry Pass side and will follow that to the foot of the hill at the old Ferry Pass commissary, thus entirely avoiding the necessity of using the sawdust road through the marsh as has been done heretofore.

The county commissioners of Escambia county have clayed The Old Spanish Trail to the bayou, where the ferry will land in the future. By this excellent work the cars will be able to hit the hard clay as soon as they roll off the ferry boat on the Ferry Pass side and will be able to make the run to Pensacola in a very few minutes.

Travelers over the Old Spanish trail are enthusiastic over the purchase of the Floridatown Ferry by Mr. Gates, who is amply able to Install whatever equipment he needs to give the public extra good service.

Mr. Gates has added another trip to the daily schedule, which will give four regular round trips every day with extra trips as desired.

Work on the Floridatown road is putting that road in excellent condition, much to the liking of Milton people.


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