Tuesday, April 4, 2017

March 2, 2017 - Milton, Bagdad & Holt, FL

Erwin was in mood to have French Toast. He had not had it for a very long time.  I did not want any, just wanted my usual breakfast entree of three strips of bacon and one egg.

When we went outside to go out we were surprised to see how much pollen had landed on the Jeep.  We were worried if it was going to affect us during our outing today.  

After going over the list planned for today's trip we left Blackwater River State Park at 10:30 am, made a right turn on Highway 90 to go to Milton, FL, which is about 11 miles away.  

Milton, FL was incorporated in 1844, is one of the oldest cities in Florida. At that time, Florida was still a territory before it became a state in 1845. Most of the town buildings were burned by the Union army in 1862.  Naval Air Station Whiting Field was built during World War II.  According to Wiki, in 1962, an F3 tornado touched down the northwest part of Milton, causing 17 deaths and 100 injuries.  At that time, it was the deadliest tornado.

First stop was to check out the old railroad depot, but it was closed.  There was a sign warning of trespassing when the depot is closed, so I did not dare to walk around to take pictures. I only stood behind the line.  
We went south to visit Bagdad, FL, which was named after Bagdad, Iraq.  Bagdad was started in 1840 when a sawmill was put in operation.  Bubba Watson, pro golfer who won the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014, was born in this town.  

We checked out Bagdad Village Museum, but it was closed.  We walked around the premises, reading interpretive signs. Bagdad United Methodist Church was established in 1830 and is listed on National Register of Historic Places. Again, the church doors  were locked!  

We were just driving around the town, intending on getting lost so we might see something interesting.  We came to the Oyster Pile Boat Ramp, parked the Jeep, got out and walked to take a look at the surroundings.
We went back to the historic row to check out some historic houses. Few of them are still in use while the others have been turned into display.
Thompson House was built in 1847, was briefly occupied by the Union troops during 1860's. We were not sure if it is currently occupied.
We drove to Oak Street in Milton to check out one church: Historic Carpenter Gothic-style Saint Mary's Episcopal that was completed in 1888.  I walked to the back of the church and there is a small courtyard.  There is a very beautiful statue of an angel, and the gate was not locked, so I invited myself to go inside the courtyard.  I was going to walk back to the Jeep because I thought the church may be locked. However, my guts told me to go and check the door. Oh sure enough, it was not locked, and I went inside. 
Not too far from the church is Santa Rosa County Veterans Memorial Park. It is dedicated to the American veterans. A very nice park. Near the memorial park is Carpenters Park.
It was time for lunch and we chose to dine at David's Catfish House on Dogwood Drive. It was ranked #2 out of 65 restaurants in Milton. The interior was simple, but had lots of fish copper pans, decor, etc on the walls. I had fried shrimp, green beans, grits and hush puppies. Erwin got fried catfish with baked potato, green beans and hush puppies.  We enjoyed the foods so much.
Not too far from David's Catfish House is Historic Milton Cemetery on Oakcrest Road.  There were some interesting tombstones/headstones. 
Back to the town center I checked out the Imogene Theatre on Caroline Street. It was in 1913 when it was completed and open its doors for vaudeville shows and silent moving pictures.  
Last stop before going back to Blackwater River State Park campground we checked out Mount Pilgrim African Missionary Baptist Church. It was organized by African-Americans in 1866. The building style is Gothic Revival. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
Along the side next to Highway 90 is an old brick road that was opened in 1921. It is now used for walking/biking. 
We did not do much after supper. We were pretty much tired out after a day of sightseeing. 



  1. In reference to your sentence: "Most of the town buildings were burned by the Union army in 1862."

    It is true that much of Milton and Bagdad as well, were burned down, in 1862. But it was not the Union forces, it was the Confederate forces when they left the Pensacola area for others elsewhere. They were ordered to destroy all mills, all cotton, all boats and to leave nothing that the Union forces could use. Many homes were burned down as well during this scorched earth campaign. Santa Rosa County was left in ruins.

  2. Thank you for the additional information