Photos of DeFuniak Springs, Florida

By Henry H. Mitchell.

Lake DeFuniak

A mile-long sidewalk circles Lake DeFuniak, as viewed from the rear of the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood (see below). First Presbyterian Church is seen in the distance.

Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood

The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, built in 1910, presents a facade containing three neoclassical porticos and a dome topped by a lantern.

Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood Marker

Historical marker for the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood:

The original Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874 on Lake Chautauqua in western New York state as a vacation school for Sunday school teachers. The idea of providing a retreat for improving religious and secular education for the general public spread rapidly throughout the nation in the 1880s, giving birth to independent Chautauquas that became platforms for discussion of the latest thinking in politics, economics, literature, science and religion. The first Florida Chautauqua convened on the banks of Lake DeFuniak in 1885. It was the second Chautauqua founded in America and was one of many nationwide that attracted noted educators and famous lecturers. The Hall of Brotherhood, containing an auditorium seating 4,000 people, was completed in 1910 at a cost of $28,000. By the beginning of the 20th century the national Chauqauqua movement had declined and the Florida Chautauqua closed in 1920. The Hall of Brotherhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, but in 1975 a hurricane destroyed the auditorium wing and severely damaged the rest of the structure. Since then, there has been an ongoing program to fully restore the building.

Florida Heritage Landmark
Sponsored by the Walton County Heritage Association, Inc. and Florida Department of State
Sandra B. Mortham, Secretary of State
F-377 1997

Queen Anne Residence

Built around 1895, the Thomas House at 188 West Circle Drive is one of DeFuniak Springs' numerous remarkable examples of the Queen Anne style.

St. Agatha's Episcopal Church

The St. Agatha's Episcopal Church building at 211 West Circle Drive dates from 1896, and is thus a late example of a Pointed Gothic Revival church.

L&N Depot

The traditional Victorian bracketed Louisville & Nashville railroad depot in DeFuniak Springs was first built in 1882, and then enlarged in 1909.