Brenda Rees | Shaping Florida. The Real History about the Real Florida.
Welcome to Shaping Florida, a story about the land and the people of Florida by Walton County, Florida native Brenda Rees. All Rights Reserved (c) Brenda Rees
Through Shaping Florida, Brenda Rees shares the history of Florida, especially the important West Florida history, from the beginning of its sand to early natives, explorers and territorial leaders. Major characters include Cabeze de Vaca, Tristan de Luna, George Walton, Jr., Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert, Henry Marie Brackenridge, Alaqua, and T. T. Wentworth, Jr.
If you are a visitor to Florida, a new or longtime resident or even a rare native Floridian, Shaping Florida is for you.
Residents, students and visitors today may not realize the historical importance of Walton County, the Emerald Coast, Northwest Florida and West Florida. Florida once stretched from what is now Florida to Texas and beyond up to Newfoundland. To many we can say, "Welcome Home to Florida."
Walton County, founded December 29, 1824, is one of the most beautiful and historical counties in Florida. It was the eighth county created in a state that now has 67 counties. From its spectacular white sand beaches in South Walton, to its highest point landmark for Florida at Britton Hill at Lakewood Park near Paxton, Walton County's beauty matches the significant history of its people.
Walton's namesake, George Walton, Jr., was the Secretary of State for West Florida and the Territory of Florida as well as twice Acting Governor. His famous daughter, Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert, was world renown. The Walton's were of British heritage. Others settled and prospered in this blessed Northwest Florida county.
Walton County, along with Northwest and West Florida, has a significant history. West Florida, not East of South Florida, was in control of the Florida legislature for many years. It wasn't until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as amended, that West Florida interests surrendered their political supremacy to other parts of the state.
Let us take a journey into the land and people who shaped Florida. "Shaping Florida" by Brenda Rees will guide you with historical notes, pictures and illustrations and help you "Discover the Real Magic and the Real Florida" or see "Where Nature's Best Meets History."
First, a trip back to ancient times and the journey of our brilliant white sand gives depth and understanding to the beauty and unique physical character that helped shape the history of Walton County, Florida and the Emerald Coast of Northwest and West Florida.
Brenda Rees is a local Florida historian and Walton County Native. Rees holds an undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University and a master's degree from Texas A&M University and attended University of West Florida for post graduate history work. She holds a Florida Master Naturalist certificate and has presented environmental and history programs through her business, Shaping Florida. Brenda is the great niece of T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum's founder and namesake and treasurer for the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Historical Foundation, Inc.
Degrees and Certifications:
B.A.T. - Sam Houston State University
M. Ed. - Texas A&M University
Florida Master Naturalist