How South Walton became a gateless gated community

30a history1

C. H. McGee's real estate office circa 1950. A bit of what will be 30-A is to the left of the picture. This was a short section that was paved in Seagrove. To the right of the picture you can see that there is no paved road. There was only a dirt road and a trail.

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 at 09:16 AM.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On April 1, 1955, the town of Santa Rosa became known as Santa Rosa Beach. In honor of that milestone, The Sun is proud to present this retrospective by an author and longtime visitor.


In December, 1956, word reached Panhandle property owners in Florida’s south Walton County that a “beach route” would be built to link the coastal enclaves of Seagrove Beach, Grayton Beach, and Blue Mountain to each other and to Destin to the west and Panama City Beach to the east.  It would be called 30A.

Not everyone liked the idea.

The vice president of the First National Bank in Birmingham, who owned a cottage in Seagrove, wrote the head of the Florida Highway Department that he had invested in the region “because of the quiet seclusion” and did not want that to change. The Florida Highway Department ignored his objections.

C. H. McGee, who developed Seagrove Beach, offered the state land away from the coast if it would route the road around him. The state turned the developer down.

McGee was one of Florida real estate’s unsung pioneers.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top

Local Faves