Eden Gardens State Park
The historic Eden Mansion
and grounds were donated to
the people of Florida by Lois
Genevieve Maxon.
Winter Color at Eden
Blossoms give the gardens a
splash of color even in winter,
when this picture was taken.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Eden Gardens State Park, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Eden Gardens State Park, Florida
Eden Gardens State Park - Point Washington, Florida
Eden Gardens State Park
Nestled on Choctawhatchee Bay a short distance
from the white sand beaches of Northwest Florida,
the park is one of the most beautiful in the state.
History on the Emerald Coast
One of the most beautiful settings in Florida
is barely removed from the sparkling white
sand beaches of Destin and the Emerald

Located just off U.S. Highway 98 in Point
Washington, Eden Gardens State Park is a
stunning reminder of the region's past and a
remarkably beautiful attraction in any season.

The gardens, which consist of flowering
plants, beautiful old oaks, reflecting pools,
statuary and more, surround the beautiful old
Eden Mansion. Although its white columns
and setting amidst the oaks evoke memories
of the Old South, the mansion is actually not
of antebellum construction.

The house was built in 1895 by William
Henry Wesley, a prominent lumberman who
operated sawmills on the grounds and in the
surrounding area. Huge rafts of raw timber
were floated down the Choctawhatchee River
to Wesley's mills, where the logs were
sawed into lumber for export to Pensacola
and beyond.

According to local legend, Wesley's design
for the house was inspired by a plantation
where he received food and shelter while
making his way home at the end of the War
Between the States. The story is interesting,
but it is worth noting that the house as it
originally appeared was Victorian in style.

By the early 1960s, the old home and its oak-
shaded grounds had fallen on hard times.
Recognizing the beauty and potential of the
spot on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay,
paper and publishing magnate Lois
Genevieve Maxon bought Eden in 1963.

Undertaking a painstaking rebuilding of the
home, Maxon used the inspiration of the old
legend of Wesley's trip home from the battle-
fields to give the house its present look. She
also had the beautiful gardens that surround
the home designed and planted.  

The result was a magnificent setting of
flowering plants, trees, reflecting pools and
statuary surrounding the beautiful mansion
that is now over 110 years old. The waters of
Choctawhatchee Bay sparkle in the distance.
Picnic Table by the Bayou
Eden Gardens occupies a
historic spot on the shore of
Tucker Bayou.
When the magnificent beautification project
was completed, Maxon donated the home
and grounds to the people of Florida in
memory of her parents, Harry Russell Maxon
and Lois Adelheide Gustava Margarethe von
Puraucker Maxon. Both passed away in 1960.

As a result of Maxon's generosity, Eden is
now preserved for present and future
generations of Floridians. Located in the old
coastal community of Point Washington, the
park is just a short drive from the white sand
beaches of Florida's Emerald Coast.

The park is open daily from 8 am. until
sunset and is located one mile off U.S. 98
between Panama City and Destin on County
Road 395. The route is well marked by signs.

To learn more,
please click here to visit the
official site for Eden Gardens State Park.
Reflecting Pool at Eden
A beautiful reflecting pool at
Eden Gardens is framed by
magnificent oaks.
Gurney's 125 x 125
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.