SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. - For some South Walton residents, it may be difficult to remember the days when County Road 30A wasn't packed with condos and summer homes. But there was a time a few decades ago when it was just sand and the occasional car. That was the focus of a celebration Wednesday morning commemorating Seaside.
"It's fitting that this is a foggy morning because in 1981, the economic horizons were pretty foggy," said Robert Davis, the founder of Seaside.
Davis said it was 35 years ago this year he and his wife decided to transform 80 acres of sand and brush into a new form of community.
"To recreate a community that was much like the communities that people had developed for the first several thousand years of urban existence," described Davis.
Seaside has had a rich history in its short time, serving as a holiday destination as well as a movie set. Several people got emotional when talking about the impact the small community has had on their lives.
"To be frank with you, it wasn't hard to quit college in my last semester and become a college dropout because I was just as excited about Robert and Darryl's vision for Seaside," said Dave Rauschkolb, the owner of Bud and Alley's.
For Rauschkolb, it was Davis himself who sold him and countless others on the idea of the community which would go on to shape the rest of 30A.
"It's so amazing to still be here, and to have had a voice in this small town in Florida," said Rauschkolb.
Davis says he has more visions for Seaside and hopes to begin sharing them with the community soon.
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