Genealogical Society of Santa Rosa County


Santa Rosa County was established February 18, 1842 from a portion of Escambia County and named for Santa Rosa Island, which was named for the Roman Catholic Saint, St. Rosa de Viterbo. In 1743, the first record of the West Florida lumber industry was two masts of yellow pine. After the transfer of Florida to the United States in 1821, a number of saw mills began operating around the bays and streams adjacent to Pensacola (neighboring Escambia County). These saw mills continued operation until the Civil War. The first year of the Civil War brought prosperity to Santa Rosa County. The second year, Confederate troops moved across Santa Rosa County and Bagdad was torched to prevent falling into Union hands. By 1867, the world-wide demand for yellow pine resumed and fortunes were made from the lumber industry. For over a hundred years, the logging industry provided jobs for thousands, but by 1939 the area was soon depleted of trees forcing the mills out of business. Today, north and south Santa Rosa County are known for their outstanding water resources, ­rivers, creeks, bays and the Gulf of Mexico. We hope you enjoy this resource into the past!

Society meetings are the third Saturday of Quarter Months (January, April, July, October) at the Santa Rosa Library Administration Center at 6275 Dogwood Dr, Milton, FL 32570. Meeting time is 10am CST.