Defuniak Springs, Florida
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DeFuniak Springs is a small city of around 7,000 located off of Interstate 10 between Tallahassee and Pensacola.
The city is the county seat for Walton County, Florida. DeFuniak Springs is home to many interesting historical events and
attractions such as one of the two naturally round spring fed lakes in the world. The other being located near Zurich, Switzerland.
DeFuniak Springs was developed in the late 1800s as a railroad town. In 1881, a railroad surveying party consisting of W. D. Chipley,
W.J. VanKirk, and W.T. Wright came to the area seeking a route for the L&N Railroad. After stopping on a hillside overlooking the
beautiful, naturally round lake, Colonel Chipley exlcaimed, "Here a town shall be built!" They planned a town named after
Fred R. DeFuniak, who had held many high offices with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, including that of General Manager.
The Florida Chautauqua Association organized in 1884 and held its first assembly in DeFuniak Springs in February of 1885.
This assembly made DeFuniak Springs one of the cultural centers of the southeast until the late 1920s. Today, in the spirit of the
original Chautauqua, efforts are underway to revive the cultural activities. Go to the Historical District so you can see the beautiful
homes that surround Lake DeFuniak today.
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