Historic Town of Santa Rosa
In the 1800s and early 1900s Charles Cessna developed the Hogtown Bayou area into the community of Santa Rosa, home to a general store, sugar cane syrup factory, a cannery, hotel, and variety of businesses, including two turpentine mills. (“The Way We Were,” a publication of the South Walton Three Arts Alliance, Inc.)
This property includes the former location of the Town of Santa Rosa Hotel. The remnants of the foundation are still on the property. At that time, there were at least two steam ships that brought people to the Hogtown Bayou site.
Steamboats brought residents from Mobile and Pensacola, quickly growing the area’s population in the Town of Santa Rosa to nearly 1,200 people.
Citrus canker, a malaria epidemic, and a hurricane combined to crush the community. Many residents left, while others moved further inland. The town became a ghost town and many buildings were dismantled as building materials were removed from structures for use elsewhere.
The Santa Rosa Hotel, long abandoned, burned to the ground in the 1970s.
The subject property is currently subdivided into 35 lots as part of the plat of Old Town of Santa Rosa.
The property contains wetlands and the park plan will address and protect the wetlands.
The property is located within an AE7 flood zone.
The current land use designation is Conservation Residential 1:2.5, theoretically allowing only one house on 2.5 acres, but because the lots were platted long ago, the county recognizes them as lots of record, allowing a single family dwelling on each of the 35 lots.