Panama City’s Historic Sapp House makes a home for community’s history

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After months of renovation, the Historic Sapp House in Downtown Panama City is starting a new chapter. 

In 2019, it was bought by a team of local investors with the intent of turning the home into a community gathering place for residents and visitors. 

“It was one of the original gathering spots in the city’s very infancy,” said Kevin Wattenbarger, one of the partners working on the home. “The promise we made was we were going to make it a gathering spot and available to the community and I feel like that’s exactly the path we’re headed on.”

The Sapp House, which is on the National Register for Historic Places, has been fixed up and is now being decorated on the interior, every detail telling the story of its rich history. 

“Every room we go into there’s a little story we could share,” Wattenbarger said. “As people get in here, [we’ll] find the right way to tell those stories.”

He said their goal was to preserve the history of the home while also transforming it into a functional venue for modern-day events like weddings and rehearsals, showers, Chamber gatherings and other occasions. 

“They’ve put their heart and soul into the house,” said Bethany Boggs, the House Manager. “It’s such a unique opportunity for the community to be able to come and create their own history in a house that’s been part of Bay County’s history for a hundred years.”

Wattenbarger said there are already multiple bookings for the Sapp House in the coming weeks, and that they’re excited and hopeful for the future of the home as well as for Downtown.

“We know that there are brighter days ahead for downtown,” he said. “We know that there will be celebrations and joyous events to take place here.”

For more information on the Sapp House and to book it for an event, click here. Boggs said it’s what they’ve been working and waiting for.

“We’re really excited to share a lot of the little details that are in this house that I think can just really make a stunning event,” she said. 

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