August 4, 2017
Historic Bay School was built in 1938 in the quaint 1800's logging settlement known as Point Washington. Following is a little history about our small community nestled among the oaks.
During that time, the community boasted about having the largest house in South Walton County in the 1800’s which is now known as Eden State Gardens and the Wesley House. The historically dedicated home and gardens were built by the Wesley family between 1895 and 1897. By 1953, the Wesley family died out and Lois Maxon had purchased the mansion. Upon her death she left the home and grounds to the State. Tours and a more in-depth history are available from the State Park ranger and preservation volunteers.
Point Washington experienced two small invasions during the Civil War. The first account was in early 1864, when Federal Captain James Galloway who was tasked with locating deserters, burned the town’s saw mill and attempted to capture the blockade runner-the schooner “Champion,” which operated out of Choctawhatchee Bay. The town was again enlisted as a camp and temporary Civil War headquarters for a rebel prisoner holding site for General Alexander Asboth who, in later 1864, set out from Pensacola to burn Marianna and invade and capture the surrounding territory. The quiet backwater town boasted a population of 350 citizens during its peak and had a school (a little red school house), two or three general stores, a post office, turpentine stills, and a total of six timber mills dotting the shores around Point Washington. The first known church was originally a United Methodist Church built in 1893. The Methodist Church was laid out using the timbers from another building built in the 1890s across the intercoastal waterway. The church was literally under an open air arbor with a fence built around it to keep the wild roaming hogs from entering the services. Music was provided by piano on the back of an old pick-up truck. The story book architecture is reminiscent of a small New England chapel. The Corner Stone Assembly Church was built in 1940. The 1938 school, located under the shade trees is a design straight out of the Norman Rockwell period. One walk through the hall and classrooms makes the saying “as American as apple pie” a real life experience.