Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The community of St. Andrew, Florida
This view of St. Andrew Bay was taken from the site of the old village of St. Andrew. Now a part of modern Panama City, the old village was a small coastal resort community prior to the Civil War. Residents of the inland counties used to come here at times of the year to escape the sweltering heat of the plantation district of Florida. The gentle breezes coming off the bay made for a pleasant climate and the scenery was spectacular.
The area was also a popular location for fishing, etc., during the years prior to the war and many early accounts of life in Northwest Florida describe trips down to St. Andrew Bay followed by return trips with wagon loads of fish.
The appearance of Union blockade vessels off the entrances to St. Andrew Bay in 1861 led to a quick abandonment of the resort community, most of which was burned after being shelled by Union warships. By the end of the war, St. Andrew had vanished. In subsequent years, the community came back to life, but this time as Panama City. Today it is one of the major commercial and resort areas on the Florida Gulf Coast.
The old St. Andrew area lay along Beach Drive near Downtown Panama City.