It is believed that this culture evolved out of the Weeden Island culture. Fort also appeared to come about due to contact with the major Mississippian centers to the north and west. It was the most complex in the north-west Florida region.
The Fort Walton peoples put into practice mound building and intensive agriculture, made pottery in a variety of vessel shapes, and had hierarchical settlement patterns that reflected other Mississippian societies. Every day our thirst and hunger increased because our supplies were giving out, as well as the water supply, for the pouches we had made from the legs of our horses soon became rotten and useless. From time to time we would enter some inlet or cove that reached very far inland, but we found them all shallow and dangerous, and so we navigated through them for thirty days, meeting sometimes Indians who fished and were poor and wretched people".
The area is described at "40 deaths a day" in a Spanish map dated A number of Spanish artifacts, including a portion of brigantine leather armor, are housed in the Indian Temple Mound Museum.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no documentary evidence of pirates using the area as a base of operations. Notable raids occurred in and against the Spanish fort at San Marcos de Apalachee by French and English buccaneers , a raid against Port Dauphin now Alabama by English pirates from Martinique, and the actions of the late 18th-century adventurer William Augustus Bowles , who was based in Apalachicola.
Bowles was never referred to as "Billy Bowlegs" in period documentation; his Creek name was "Eastajoca". During the era of Spanish and English colonization, the area of what was to become Fort Walton Beach was noted in several journals but no worthwhile presence was established. Early settlers of Walton County , Florida were the first to establish permanent settlements in what is now Fort Walton Beach the area was originally named "Anderson".
One of the first settlers was John Anderson, who received land plots in The name "Anderson" is noted on maps from to It was not until that the name "Camp Walton" appeared on Florida maps. At this time, Okaloosa County did not yet exist. Walton County received its name from Col. As a result of Col.
Walton's influence in the politics of north-west Florida, his name was honored by establishing Walton County. Although the "Walton Guards" did not see much action, they did keep busy by digging up prehistoric Indian remains buried in the Indian Temple Mound and displaying them at camp. The post was abandoned in August , and the "Walton Guards" were assigned to reinforce the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment, with duty in the Western Theatre on the Tennessee front.
The census counted 90 residents in Fort Walton. The community's name was officially changed from Fort Walton to Fort Walton Beach on June 15, , by agreement with the state legislature in Tallahassee , and incorporated a portion of Santa Rosa Island formerly known as Tower Beach.
Brooks,  with a board walk, casino, restaurant, dance pavilion, "40 modernly equipped beach cottages",  and concession stands which was largely destroyed by fire on Saturday, March 7, Wartime supply restrictions prevented a reconstruction.
The remaining Tower Beach summer cottages were removed after the tourist season as the new Okaloosa Island Authority redeveloped the site with a new hotel and casino.
The government was changed to a city manager form. Climate[ edit ] Fort Walton Beach experiences hot and very humid summers, generally from late May to mid-September. Autumns, from mid-September to early December, are generally warm. Winters are very short and mild, from mid-December to late February. Springs are warm, from late February to late May.
The wettest season is summer, and the driest autumn; however, the flood season is also in autumn. Snow and freezing rain are very rare. Freezing rain occurs about once every 5—10 years. Snow occurs about once every 10—15 years. The last report of snow was on January 28, The last report of freezing rain was on February 11,