DeFuniak Springs, Florida

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DeFuniak Springs is a city in Walton County, Florida, United States. The population was 5,089 in the 2000 census and 5,141 in 2004.[1] It is the county seat of Walton County.

Contents

Geography

DeFuniak Springs is located at 30°43′17″N 86°07′10″W / 30.721349°N 86.119352°W / 30.721349; -86.119352.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29.1 km²). 11.0 square miles (28.4 km²) of it is land, and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (2.49%) is water.

History

The town was founded by the officers of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, a subsidiary of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The P&A was organized to connect the terminus of the L&N at Pensacola to the western terminus of a predecessor of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad at River Junction—now Chattahoochee—in the 1880s. It was named after Frederick R. DeFuniak, a vice-president of the L&N. Like much of Northwest Florida, DeFuniak Springs was settled mainly by Scots from Virginia and the Carolinas.

DeFuniak Springs was established as a final-destination resort, and the developers enlisted the cooperation and aid of the Chautauqua Movement. The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, an auditorium seating 4,000, was constructed on Lake DeFuniak in the center of town. Seminars, classes, and the like were held in the Hall of Brotherhood building for people on vacation. The auditorium of the building was severely damaged by Hurricane Eloise in 1975 and razed. However, a charitable foundation, The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood Foundation, Inc., has undertaken a capital campaign for the historic restoration of the building.[4] The westerly portion of the building facing Circle Drive is still in use.

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