By DOTTY NIST
The countdown to Walton County’s 200th birthday continued on Dec. 29 with a celebration hosted by Walton County native and historian Brenda Rees at her home on Eastern Lake.
This year’s theme for the annual celebration was 1824, the date of the founding of Walton County. Coins from the period were on display for Rees’ guests, along with a map and painting showing the original boundaries of Walton County from its creation to Dec. 8, 1825.
Also, for perspective, sheet music of the hymn “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” was on display. Rees noted that the hymn was set to the music of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (his final symphony), which was published in 1824.
Rees explained that Walton County was the eighth county to be created in Florida and was named for George Walton Jr., who served as secretary of state for West Florida and the Territory of Florida as well as serving twice as acting governor.
Walton County, she continued, was formed from areas of Escambia and Jackson counties, with the areas of Destin, Niceville, Panama City Beach, Southport, Vernon, and Ponce de Leon being included within the new county’s original boundaries.
Plans are for the annual celebration to continue through 2024, the 200th anniversary of Walton County’s founding.
More information on the Walton County 200th Countdown and Walton County history may be found on Rees’ website, www.ShapingFlorida.com.