Fort Panic Road

There is a road that runs along the Gulf out in South Walton County named Fort Panic Road.

The Island King has taken photos of several of the houses on the street and each time he does I speculate about the name.

Fort Panic Road.

Sounds scary, especially being right on the Gulf, and I always have visions of terror during a hurricane.

And then I think that if I were in town, shopping for a beach house, anything on Fort Panic Road would be ruled out immediately – simply because of the name.

A few days ago the Island King got a call to shoot another house out there and again we talked about the name. I Googled it but couldn’t find anything explaining it.

He got home from his photo shoot and with a big smile told me that he now knows the story of Fort Panic Road.

When he got to his shoot he realized he was at the first house built on the road and the road was named after the house.

Hanging on the wall in the house was a newspaper article that told the whole story.

The house was built in 1973 by a couple from Alabama and according to the article the name was inspired by 3 daughters, 6 dogs and 3 horses. “It was always a panic at our home” so when they built the beach house, the owners named it Fort Panic.

They were driving through Holley about 20 years ago and saw the Fort Panic sign hanging on the front of a house, stopped and offered the owners $25 for the sign.

Hurricane Eloise destroyed the house but the sign survived and was put back on the rebuilt house.

After hearing the story, my thoughts on Fort Panic Road have changed. It doesn’t sound scary or ominous at all.

It sounds like home.