Florida is home to some of the world's most famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. These parks attract millions of visitors from around the world each year and are a major part of Florida's economy.
Gulf County, located in the panhandle of Florida, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by the Apalachee and Creek Native American tribes, who relied on the area's abundant natural resources for their livelihoods. European explorers, including Spanish conquistadors and French settlers, arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it wasn't until the 19th century that the area began to be permanently settled by European Americans.

In the late 1800s, Gulf County experienced a boom in commercial fishing and timber industries, thanks to its strategic location along the Gulf of Mexico. Small towns like Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe grew rapidly as trade routes expanded and more people settled in the area. The county also became known for its turpentine production, as the vast pine forests provided an abundance of resin.

The discovery of oil in the early 20th century brought further economic growth to Gulf County. The St. Joseph Peninsula, located within the county, became home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, giving rise to a thriving petroleum industry. However, the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, coupled with the decline of the timber and fishing industries, led to a period of economic stagnation.

In recent decades, Gulf County has experienced a shift towards tourism as its main economic driver. The pristine white-sand beaches, such as those at Cape San Blas, attract visitors from far and wide, seeking relaxation and outdoor activities. The county has also taken initiatives to preserve its natural beauty, with the establishment of protected areas like St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Today, Gulf County thrives as a tourist destination while striving to balance its economic growth with the preservation of its unique history and environment.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Gulf County, Florida.

  • Gulf County, FL was established on June 6, 1925.
  • The county was named after the Gulf of Mexico, which borders its western side.
  • In the early years, the primary industries in Gulf County were fishing, timber, and tourism.
  • In 1929, the first bridge connecting the county to the mainland was built, improving transportation and trade.
  • During World War II, Gulf County played a significant role in military training exercises due to its coastal location.
  • In the late 20th century, the county experienced growth in population and development.
  • Today, Gulf County is known for its beautiful beaches, outdoor recreational activities, and preservation of natural resources.