Celebrating the 175th birthday of George Mortimer West: the founding father of Panama City

Panama City

ST. ANDREWS Fla. (WMBB) — November 28, 2020 is the 175th birthday of George Mortimer West – the founding father of Panama city. 

West came to the Panama City area from Escanba, Michigan in 1887 and fell in love with the St. Andrews bay. 

Historians said he saw tremendous potential for development in the area so that is exactly what he did. 

In 1905, he and his stockholder bought the land we know as panama city today.

Members of the St. Andrews Historic Waterfront Partnership said it is so important we learn about people like him because they have shaped the future. 

Nancy Hudson, the volunteer museum collections manager, said West had a huge vision for Panama City.  

“He knew what it would take to build a great city and he envisioned a huge port here,” Hudson said. “Unfortunately he didn’t live to see the boom of the 1940s when we actually did get a great port.” 

West provided lands to build Panama City’s first parks, schools and churches. Historians said West would have loved to see the progress they have made today.

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