Okaloosa County

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Old Okaloosa Court House

Remodeled in 1955.

The courthouse was originally built in 1918, just three years after the county was formed. In 1955,it was substantially remodeled and the jail removed. Certain portions of the interior remain the same.


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Okaloosa County was created from Walton and Santa Rosa counties.
To view a detailed map on how it was created go to this website.

Map of Okaloosa County, Florida

The county name derives from a Choctaw Indian term for "black water". The area is renowned for its pristine black water streams. The Blackwater River is one of the prettiest rivers in the area. There are camp grounds all along the river and part ofthe river is in a State Forest.

Okaloosa County is one of 67 counties in Florida.
Okaloosa County was the dream of colorful and controversial William Mapoles, a State Representative for Walton County. The geographic isolation of the area ignited the desire for a separate county. Mr. Mapoles introduced the first bill to create the new county in 1913. The proposed name was Yellow River County, later changed to Wilson County, Woodrow Wilson being President at the time. On September 7, 1915, Okaloosa County was created and named by Mr Mapoles after a river steamboat that traveled from Milton to Pensacola.

There was a hot rivalry among Milligan, Laurel Hill, Baker and Crestview for the honor of being chosen a permanent County seat. Crestview was chosen in April of 1917 as the County seat. Today there is still controversy about where the county seat should be. Shalimar or Ft. Walton are trying to get the county seat moved to a location in their area.
Crestview, the highest point in Florida is a dizzy 345 feet above sea level. Much of the county is contained within Eglin Air Force Base.

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