Points of Interest in Historic DeFuniak Springs
The DeFuniak Springs Visitors’ Center is located at 1162 Circle Drive in historic downtown DeFuniak Springs. the Center is open each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM and for special events.
Historic Downtown DeFuniak Springs offers a variety of shopping and eating experiences. Parallelling the railroad, Baldwin Avenue retains the look and feel of a small, historic downtown area. lovely gift shops, inviting bookstores, intriguing antique shops, quaint, old-fashioned restaurants, and a country-style general store are among the numerous businesses to be found in the downtown area.
The Florida Chautauqua Theater on Baldwin Avenue was built in 1919. Its renovation in 1998 included a return of the facade to its original design as shown on an early postcard. It is now the home of the local Florida Chautauqua theater group.
The Opinion Place on Baldwin Avenue dates from the late 1800s and continues to be a favorite gathering place for locals to sit, visit, and observe activity in the downtown area.
Historic Circle Drive surrounds Lake DeFuniak in the center of the DeFuniak Springs Historic District. Victorian homes dating back to the late nineteenth century are among the historic buildings on the Circle. Most of the homes on Circle Drive are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Majestic Magnolia Tree at 320 Circle Drive is one of the oldest trees in the area and has the honor of being listed on the National Register.
The Walton County heritage Museum, housed in the authentically restored DeFuniak Springs L&N Depot on Circle Drive, depicts life from the early times in Walton County and DeFuniak Springs. hundreds of artifacts provide a broad historical overview of the area. Not to be missed is the remarkable 12’X17’ hand-hooked rug that was made by DeFuniak’s legendary centenarian Rubye Burton.
The L&N Caboose, adjacent to the Depot on Circle Drive, has been authentically restored both inside and out. It is reminiscent of the early train service that played a very important role in DeFuniak and the Florida Chautauqua’s early development.
The Walton-DeFuniak Library on Circle Drive ( c. 1886) is the oldest library in Florida still operating in its original building. rare books dating back to the library’s beginning and a medieval armor collection are among its historical artifacts.
The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood (c. 1909) on Circle Drive is DeFuniak’s premier landmark dating from the Chautauqua Era of the late 1800’s. Although its 4,000 seat auditorium was destroyed by Hurricane Eloise in 1976, its majestic dome still towers over Lake DeFuniak.
Saint Agatha’s Episcopal Church on Circle Drive is the oldest church building in DeFuniak Springs. The building has recently undergone a complete restoration. beautiful stained glass windows and a pipe organ that was designed and built especially for Saint Agatha’s by former church acolyte Tom Bartholomew are among its unique features.
The Confederate Memorial Monument located on the grounds of Walton County Court House on nelson Avenue was the first Confederate monument to be erected in Florida. It was erected in 1871 in honor of Walton County’s Confederate dead.