City of DeFuniak Springs
DeFuniak Springs is Walton County's seat of government, including the County courthouse, administrative offices and various departments such as planning & development, public works and information systems. This community of approximately 6,000 residents has over 200 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With a historic district encircling Lake DeFuniak (one of only a few perfectly round lakes in the world), the city boasts the perfectly restored Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, an icon of a fabled cultural arts movement that flourished in the late 19th century. DeFuniak Springs is also about business: in addition to being a retail center for major chains, the city has a host of antique and curio shops. Nine hotels operate in the city, including the historic Hotel DeFuniak that is furnished with period pieces and has a loyal following. Mojo Sportswear, an internationally recognized clothing manufacturer, calls DeFuniak Springs home.
City of Freeport
Freeport is the crossroads between North and South Walton County. Situated along the north shore of Choctawhatchee Bay only 15 minutes from the Beaches of South Walton, Freeport has maritime roots that continue to support a thriving barge port today. It is advantageously situated and within driving proximity to Tallahassee, Pensacola, Montgomery, Ft. Walton Beach, and Panama City. It is within an hour of the Northwest Florida Regional Airport; the NWFL Beaches International Regional Airport, the Destin Municipal Airport, and the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport. It is a half-hour drive from the beaches and golf courses of South Walton. Freeport is a proud cooperative neighbor of Eglin Air Force Base which borders the city limits.
In addition, the city has become home to a notable master-planned community and golf course living. Retail opportunities abound in Freeport, and the Walton County Industrial Park at Freeport has enjoyed strong success. With the recent four-lane expansion of Highway 331 and the newly reconstructed Choctawhatchee bridge, Freeport has recently welcomed Publix, ACE Hardware, Dollar General, Dairy Queen, and is planning a groundbreaking ceremony for McDonald's. Freeport is a progressive small city on the verge of huge economic development!
City of Paxton
Nestled just south of the Alabama state line in the northernmost part of Walton County, the city of Paxton straddles busy US Highway 331, the primary route from the midwest and midsouth to the Emerald Coast beaches. This community is home to the highest point in the state of Florida and is a logical stopping point for much of the leisure-oriented traffic passing through. The city owns the 23 acre Paxton Industrial Park, which features a 10,000 square foot building ideal for logistics and distribution. Proximity to Interstate 65 and its access to the Mobile/Birmingham/Nashville markets is a key feature.
In the spring of 1820, Neil McLendon of Richmond County, North Carolina, his brother Lochlin, brother-in-law Daniel D. Campbell, John Folk and their families started out with their teams in the direction of Pensacola, Florida. After many days full of eventful happenings, the travelers reached Bluff Springs, Florida and camped for a while along the banks of the Escambia and Blackwater rivers. While in Pensacola on a trading trip, McLendon learned about a beautiful area up the choctawhatchee Bay that was then inhabited by a friendly tribe of Indians known as the Euchees. Soon afterwards, Sam Story, the chief of the tribe, was introduced to McLendon and extended to him a very cordial invitation. Upon seeing the new country, McLendon was well pleased. He chose a new home for his entire company. This settlement was on Bruce Creek opposite what is now known as Eucheeanna.