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Fort Walton Beach is a city in Okaloosa County, Florida, United States. Fort Walton Beach is a year round fishing and beach resort. Its busiest time of the year is spring break, while thousands of people flock to the Emerald Coast. Graphic and description sourced with thanks from Wikipedia Fort Walton Beach The City of Fort Walton Beach, home to approximately 22,000 people, was first created and chartered as a municipality in 1937. Though Fort Walton Beach is a relatively young city, its history actually goes back thousands of years. There is evidence from radioactive dating of artifacts back to 10,000 B.C., and archeological evidence of five distinct Indian periods between 600 - 1650 A.D. There were pirates, the most notorious being Billy Bowlegs between 1500 - 1800, and there was a Civil War encampment. In the early days Fort Walton was known both as Brooks Landing when John Thomas Brooks and his family settled here in 1868 and Camp Walton for the Civil War encampment by the Walton Guards. It was renamed Fort Walton when a Civil War cannon was discovered in 1932 and excavated from an Indian mound in the present downtown area on Santa Rosa Sound. Tourists, resort hotels, and the waterfront have been a part of Fort Walton Beach since its earliest days. Tourists came from the North, Midwest, and Southeast to spend months at a time at several of these full-service, American plan hotels on the shores of the Santa Rosa Sound. Dancing nightly in an over-the-water pavilion (where Fort Walton Landing is today), taking a water taxi from the hotel docks back and forth across the Sound to the beach, chartering fishing trips in the gulf and bay, receiving ice and mail by boat from Pensacola, and shopping in stores built over the water, visitors and locals alike enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle for which Fort Walton was famous.
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