Bay County Centennial 1913-2013
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December 2, 2013

4 Winds Restaurant


Located at the beautiful Panama City Marina, the 4 Winds Restaurant was a prominent landmark that offered the ultimate in dining elegance and sophisticated cuisine. It opened in 1963 and closed around 1992. They had a nightly broadcast from Radio Station WPCF between 9:15 and 9:45 p.m. and fashions were modeled each Tuesday. A buffet was offered daily except Saturday. Many class reunions, banquets and club meetings were also held at the 4 Winds Restaurant over the years. In 1969 a buffet luncheon cost $1.45. The building was demolished in the late 1990''s.





December 2, 2013

Daisy Lee's Restaurant


Known as "The Home of Fine Foods", it was located at 508 Mulberry Avenue. It opened on April 24, 1947 and was the 3rd restaurant endeavor for Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, the owners and operators. With a seating capacity of 100, the Panama City News-Herald reported on April 30, 1950 that diners who thonged the place at meal hours attested to the high quality of food and service. Menu items included fresh shrimp cocktail for 50 cents, Kansas City T-Bone Steak for $3.00, and tea or coffee for 5 cents.





December 2, 2013

Jesse Cook Seafood Grill


Located at 221 East Beach Drive, the restaurant opened near Tarpon Dock in 1945. It originally seated just 18 people with two employees, in addition to Jesse and his wife Louise. To meet customer demand, they eventually enlarged to serve 168 people and added two rooms (one seating 40 and the other 20) to the building that were used for banquets and parties. The number of employees increased to 17. The restaurant was especially famous for its grilled red snapper and hushpuppies. By October 1963, the area had changed and the restaurant was closed.





December 2, 2013

Joby's Complete Seafood House


Located on 1213 W. 15th Street, Joby''s Complete Seafood House was opened in 1967 by Joby Wilds. He reportedly turned down $5,000 for his famous pickled shrimp secret recipe. The restaurant closed in 1986. The menu included local bay crabs, boiled or fried shrimp, oysters and 1/2 shell, scamp, snapper, scallops, Florida lobster and lobster tails, fresh mullet, stone crab claws, pickled shrimp, roasted oysters, catfish, deviled crabs and frog legs. Basically, opening daily at 11 a.m., they served almost anything in fresh seafood with all the trimmings and you could even get orders to go.





December 2, 2013

Mama Campisi's


Orginally at 2715 W. 10th Street from 1964 to 1971, Mama Campisi''s Restaurant moved to a larger building at 1013 Beck Avenue and was open for business there from 1971 to 1990. Their sign said they served fine American and Italian food. Today that building is the Florida Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole.





December 2, 2013

Mama Cole's Home of Soul Food


Located on the corner of 6th Street and Harmon Avenue, Mama Cole''s Home of Soul Food was owned and operated by Lucille (Mama) Cole. She loved to cook and served the community for over 40 years. In 1991, the original building of the popular lunch spot was destroyed by fire. After the fire, citizens of Bay County and patrons of the restaurant rallied to rebuild "Mama Cole''s Home of Soul Food".





December 2, 2013

Pappy's German Restaurant


Located on 1000 Bayview Avenue in the heart of St. Andrews, Pappy''s opened in 1982 and served Barvarian cooking from Southern Germany. Pappy''s was notorious for its authentic German cuisine and its presence in the movie Ruby in Paradise, a 1993 film starring Ashley Judd. The restaurant closed sometime after 2009.





December 2, 2013

Seven Seas Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge


Located on the corner of 5th Street and Grace Avenue, the Seven Seas Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge opened in June 1954 and closed in November 1978. The location of this restaurant first housed a church and later a Piggly Wiggly that was owned by A.R. Rogers and Don Fay. The restaurant and lounge was a landmark with outstanding cuisine to the end. They also featured a fashion show on Wednesdays at noon and their famous Sunday evening smorgasbord. Many festive affairs were held there, including conventions, banquets, wedding receptions and various club meetings. Prices in 1968 ranged from $3.25 for whole stuffed Gulf flounder to $5.50 for a 16-0z. New York cut sirloin steak.





December 2, 2013

The Chicken Ranch


Located at 1201 Harrison Avenue across from Bay High School The Chicken Ranch operated from 1956 to 1971. Doug Dick, owner, had placemats created for a Bay High School reunion as a reminder of those days. Menu items in 1963 included pizza for 60 cents, a jumbo hamburger, pepsi or milkshake and french fries all for 58 cents.





December 2, 2013

The Treasure Ship Restaurant


Located at 3605 Thomas Drive on Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach The Treasure Ship was in operation from mid 1978 until a fire destroyed it on April 28, 2010. The building was a replica of a pirate ship, the Golden Hind, a galleon sailed by Sir Francis Drake. The restaurant was roughly twice the size of Sir Francis Drake''s ship and was visible from land and water for miles. Included was a restaurant, lounge, ice cream parlor, shops, deck bars and a beautiful view of Grand Lagoon.





November 1, 2013

Civic Organizations Help Mold Bay County


The success of any community could be attributed to many things: its location, its climate, a successful development campaign, effective promotions, able leaders, sturdy infrastructure. All of these are worthy of consideration, but consider the thought that it is the citizens who make a community successful. Civic organizations are a vital part of the cultural social and even economic life of a community. They are the life blood that flows to keep all of these aspects alive and healthy. Even before the creation of Bay County, its citizens have been responsible for its success. While still a part of Washington County, organizations of men and women joined together for a common goal, improve their home place. Highlighted here are but a few of such groups that have functioned in this county. They are only representative of the wealth of organizations that have improved our quality of life. Some have died out, some have grown into several branches through the various communities within Bay County, some altered or merged and surprisingly, a large number function today as they have for many years, working for the betterment of the Bay County.

Pictured in front of the Dixie Sherman Hotel in 1940 are the charter members of the Panama City Kiwanis Club. L-R: Edward Pagelson (Judge), R.L. McKenzie (1st Mayor), "Big Daddy" Cotton, Grover Rodgers, Ernest Spiva, J.D. Jellars, J.A. Smith, Waldo Wallace, M.J. "Doc" Daffin, Earl Van Horn, Reeves Wells, Phil Roll, Curtis McCall, Unknown, Fred Phillips, Erling C. Reese, A.M. Lewis, L.E. Merriam, Sr., Dr. Fellows, Lewis Morgan, H.L. Sudduth and J.H. Drummond.





November 1, 2013

Historical Society of Bay County


Bay County’s historical society was first informally organized in 1936, but in 1958 their charter was granted by Judge E. Clay Lewis. Judge Ira Hutchison had been hosting a gathering of early settlers and old timers under the sponsor ship of the Pioneers Association at his home for a picnic each summer since 1940. Naturally the Judge Hutchinson was instrumental in the formation of a historical society as was Dr. Ralph Wager, Toni Ververka and Bill Weeks.

The society became inactive in 1970 and the Bay County Historical Society revived the organization in 1977 and filed a charter with the State of Florida. In 2001 a name change took place and the group became known as the Historical Society of Bay County and again filed with the state. The mission of the society is; to identify, preserve, and document Bay County History, to assist in the preservation of historic sites within the county and to collect, identify and preserve documents, pictures and artifacts.

In addition to its mission, the Historical Society continues the tradition of the Pioneer Picnic each year on the first Saturday in June now partnering with the Bay County Genealogical Society in recognizing the First Families of Bay County. Other projects include the development of a Downtown Walking Tour, placement of a salt works replica in Asbell Park, erecting a monument to Lt. Edwin Gorbet in Bay Memorial Park, and participation in Education Encore program at GCSC. They have been instrumental in securing historic registry markers for the Bay County Court House, the Sapp House and the Schmidt/Godert Farm. They continue efforts to identify and mark the many historic buildings and homes in the county. As part of the downtown Christmas events, the society provides docents who narrate the Harrison Avenue carriage rides. Currently the Historical Society of Bay County is dedicated to the establishment of a historical museum for Bay County.





November 1, 2013

Lions Club


The Panama City Lions club was organized and chartered in 1935. Its purpose was to give assistance to those with eyesight issues and improve the general welfare of their neighbors in the community. One of their first projects involved establishing the school safety patrols for area schools. They also established the ‘Blind Operator Concession Stand’ at the Panama City Post Office operated by George Mozley. Throughout the county, Lions have placed collection points for the public to recycle used eye glasses. Some other causes supported by the Lions are; North Florida Eye Bank, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and Diabetes Research Institute. They are supported in their endeavors by the women of the Lions Auxiliary. Major funding for the Lion’s projects is generated by their International 600 Gopher Race run on the 4th of July since 1962. In the beginning, live gopher turtles ran the 600 inch course but that ended when the reptiles were placed on the endangered list. Today the ‘gophers’ are bionic battery - powered creatures, designed and built by lion Johnny Reaver and his wife Opal. Since its initiation the gopher race has raised over $300,000 for sight conservation and community improvements. The event is still fun for all.





November 1, 2013

Odd Fellows


Proudly standing again as it did in 1912, Roberts Hall at the corner of 9th Street and Florida Avenue in Lynn Haven, is home to Scarlet Lodge No.75 Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Earliest settlers and founding fathers of the new community met in that same building in July of 1912 to organization their lodge and apply for a charter. In 1913, they received their charter. Members voted to rent space from L. W. Roberts, owner of the building, for the sum of $25.00 per quarter. They set Monday night as their meeting time and even today still hold that schedule. It is Lynn Haven’s oldest fraternal organization.
The earliest founding of the organization in the United States was in Baltimore, Maryland in 1819. According to the home page of this international organization which may date back as far as the 14th Century or even as some say Roman Times, Odd Fellows were named for their altruistic and benevolent mission. In early times, it was odd for men to join together to help those in need and work for the general benefit of mankind, thus those who did were ‘odd’. Sometimes the organization is referred to as the ‘Three Link Fraternity’ because of their three linked circle logo. One circle bears the letter F, another the letter L, and the last the Letter T, representing the concept of Friendship, Love and Truth. In 1851, this fraternity adopted the ‘Beautiful Rebekah Degree’ and became the first to include men and women. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs are said the first fraternal organization in the U.S. to establish homes for orphaned children and the elderly. In short, their purpose is to improve the character of mankind, make the world a better place to live, and promote good will and harmony among people.





November 1, 2013

Panama City Garden Club


Some 40 enthusiastic local women met in the Dixie Sherman Hotel dining room to form an organization dedicated to the beautification of their city in September 1935. Mrs. A. M. Lewis was elected the first president of the Panama City Garden Club. In 1936, the group joined the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. In the beginning, the club had 70 members divided into 4 circles. They have since sponsored beautification projects and educational programs, presented flower shows, organized clean-up campaigns and garden therapy programs in Florida prisons and launched the annual springtime Azalea Trail in Panama City. In 1947, wishing to create a memorial to those who served in the war, they leased 20 acres from the city and transformed the marshes and underbrush into a place of beauty. Bay Memorial Park was dedicated in April of 1953. It was in the same year that young Tyndall pilot, Edwin Gorbet, guided his distressed plane over Jinks Junior High School and on to the park where he crashed. In remembrance of his sacrifice, the Historical Society and the community dedicated a marker on the grounds of the park to him in 2005. Many children who were on the Jinks’ playground that day attended the dedication. In 1967, an island was created in the pond there and a lovely fountain built on it. In recent years, additional landscaping, fencing and walking paths have added to the enjoyment of the park. The Garden Club continues to meet at Bay Memorial Park in the small building that once was the city’s first school and then a sanctuary for the Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church.







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Panama City, FL 32402
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