The Founding of Panama City

Panama City began with three homesteads in this area. One was secured by S.L. Slade and was located around the present courthouse site and was platted as Floropolis. J.R. Irwin's homestead included the Harrison Avenue land. It was sold to George Jenks and platted in 1888 as Park Resort.

The town name was later changed to Harrison after our 9th president, President William H. Harrison. The third homestead was west of Harrison Avenue around the Bay Line Depot. It belonged to G. B. Thompson. The unsold land in each of the homesteads was purchased by G. M. West of Chicago, Illinois in 1905. Since a line between Chicago, Illinois and the Panama Canal passes through Panama City, Harrison was renamed Panama City. The main street of Panama City remained Harrison and is still called Harrison Avenue. In 1914 Harrison Avenue was a dirt road. Note the horse hoof prints left in the dirt. Parking on Harrison Avenue was not supervised when few cars used the road. By 1925 Harrison Avenue had grown into a busy business district with much traffic. Harrison Avenue hasn't changed much since the 1950's.


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