Growing up Grayton

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 09:20 AM.

Thousands of visitors are drawn to Grayton Beach every year to experience the nostalgia and Old Florida architecture and atmosphere.

Kitty Taylor's family is one that goes way back and first visited in the 1930s.

Her grandmother, who lived in Opp, Ala., bought a house in Grayton in 1934 from the Butlers. It was a place she came to on her honeymoon. The house was built by Ed Walline using a lot of pine. The now-named Cole Bin on Garfield Street is still in the family.

Taylor grew up coming to Grayton Beach every summer of her life since she was a baby.

Before the 331 bridge was built, they rode the ferry across the Bay to get here.

"We were all a bunch of families from Alabama, and we had a community mailbox that everyone used," remembers Taylor. "There was no air conditioning and no one had a phone except Mr. Butler. It was all families, and the Freeport and DeFuniak kids would come down and join us at the old Butler Store. There used to be a big red and white checkered water tower next to the Cole Bin. I remember my mother dancing at the store. Malcolm Patterson used to row across the lake standing up to dance with Cat Cole (her mom)."  

The old Butler Store had a lot of different owners, said Taylor.

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