Panama City in Bay County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Robert Lee McKenzie's Home and Oﬃce
It was built 1909 by Belle Booth who married R. L. McKenzie in 1912, after which time the house came to be known as the McKenzie House. It stands today as it was enlarged in 1925.
This house is significant because it was one of the first houses in a virtually unsettled area of Northwest Florida and because it was the home and office of Robert Lee McKenzie.
McKenzie was born in Macon County, Georgia in 1870. He moved to the Florida Panhandle in 1902 where he became joint owner of a large naval stores business.
After acquiring some waterfront property here he was an organizer of the Gulf Coast Development Company. The purpose of the company was to buy more land and develop it into a town site and to secure more waterfront property for a railroad terminal. In 1906 this purpose was realized when McKenzie persuaded J. B. Steele of Atlanta to choose Gulf Coast Development Company land for his new railroad which would continue south from Dothan with connections to Atlanta. Steele said "I want this to be Atlanta's outlet to the Panama Canal," which suggested the new city's name.
(Reverse Side): In February
McKenzie was a leader in the formation of Bay County. He was instrumental in getting a highway constructed to Pensacola. His work and dedication resulted in Panama City being the location of the International Paper Company.
The "Drummond Cut," completed in 1938 opened the intercoastal waterway to the west and McKenzie was a leader of this project.
During the war years McKenzie was Chairman of the Bay County Chapter of the Red Cross (1941-44) and a member of the Selective Services Board (1940-47).
On December 4, 1964, the park across the street was renamed McKenzie Park in honor of his devoted service to the community.
R. L. McKenzie's place in the development of Panama City is secure. Most of the important events of the town's development for a period of over 50 years (1902-1956) are linked with his name and efforts. For 45 years (1912-1956) the office/library of the McKenzie House was the center of his activities and as such gives real historic importance to the house and its place in Panama City history.
Erected 1987 by Sponsored by the Descendants of Robert Lee McKenzie in Cooperation with the Department of State
Location. 30° 9.264′ N, 85° 39.618′ W. Marker is in Panama City, Florida, in Bay County. Marker is at the intersection of East 3rd Court and Park Street, on the right when traveling west on East 3rd Court. Touch for map. Located in front of the McKenzie House across the street from McKenzie Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17 East 3rd Court, Panama City FL 32401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Gideon Versus Wainwright Case (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Christo, Senior (approx. one mile away); The St. Andrew Bay Saltworks (approx. 1½ miles away); St. Andrew Skirmish (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Old Sentry (approx. 2.6 miles away); Salt Kettle (approx. 2.6 miles away); St. Andrew(s) School (approx. 2.9 miles away); Site of Loftin's Ferry (approx. 3½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Panama City.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,849 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.