Monday, December 24, 2012

Touring Panama City and Camp Helen State Park

Nan and I took the car and toured some sites around Panama City.
This huge wheelbarrow was the sign for a community garden.
We drove downtown by the marinas.

Nautical Christmas lights.
Shrimp boat.
This park has quite a light display at night, but we didn't come back after dark.
In the historic district, one man's garage reflects some history.
Some of the historic homes, decorated for Christmas...

Historical marker at the shore.

The historic homes were built on a bluff across the street from the beach.

911 Memorial
A bench for each hijacked flight.

After our driving tour of historic Panama City, we visited another historic site at Camp Helen State Park. 
Camp Helen is a day-use park with beaches, kayaking, and hiking trails, but our visit was confined to the historic buildings.
In 1928 Robert and Margaret Hicks bought the site and constructed this home in 1932. Their daughter named the compound Loch Lomond.
After the death of Robert Hicks, property was opened for paying guests who stayed in newly built cottages. Later after the property was sold to Avondale Textile Mills, the house became a lodge and the property was used as a retreat for employees.
A peek in the window.
A ranger came along and opened the house for a tour. This is the modernized (1950s era) kitchen.
Each room has a fireplace.
Built-in hutch in the dining room. The wood for the lodge was imported from Brazil. 
Downstairs is a living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bath.
Upstairs are three rooms and 3 baths.
Telephone alcove.
Upstairs is the bride's room which is used when the home is rented for weddings.
And the groom's room.
Our guide discovers an uninvited guest...a squirrel has chewed through the wall above the mantel. We can see a nest it's been building inside the wall.
A portrait of the Hick's daughter, Margaret, wearing her riding clothes.
A description written by Margaret Hicks, sharing some of her memories of living here.
Indoor balcony off the groom's room.
Living room.
The four Rainbow Cottages were added in the latter 1930s.
A peek through the window.
The caretaker's house was first used by the Hick's caretaker, and later by Avondale's camp hostesses.

The backside of the kitchen used to have an attached dining area, no longer there.
The water tower provided adequate water pressure for the complex.
The kitchen was first used as a general store and later as Camp Helen's kitchen.

The two-horse stable was built of lime rock by the Hick's family.

A storm was predicted, so we did not take the trail to the beach.
Red flag gale warnings.
I'm making my Florida Parks pass pay off by visiting nearby State Parks free. Next post will be two more historic state sites in the area.

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to see the same sights I saw through someone else's eyes. There are some neat things in the area.