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Callaway Florida

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The City of Callaway is an urban community in Bay County, east of Panama City in the Panama City-Lynn Haven metro area. It falls in the Panhandle Region of Northwest Florida on the northern shores of East Bay on the beautiful St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This location provides a protected harbor for the port complex. This community is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by East Bay and a peninsula occupied by Tyndall Air Force Base. Settlers first came to the area from northwest Florida to fish, obtain salt, and lumber trees. Although tourism is the main revenue generator for this community of 15 thousand culturally racially diverse people, fishing and lumbering remain vital to the Bay County area. Paper mills and their support industries such as tree farming, lumbering, and chemical companies are a major asset to the economy today.

The City was first incorporated in 1936 by an act of Legislature when it was first envisioned as a railroad terminal between Panama City and Dothan. A debate about the location of the schoolhouse led to the City being “inactivated” until 1959. The One Room Schoolhouse had been in operation from 1911 until 1936 and today is maintained in Gore Park by the Historical Society along with the Ellie Fox Memorial Museum. The Museum contains many interesting exhibits from the past. John B. Gore Park boasts of many other diverse features including the Callaway Community Center, which is used primarily for meetings and social gatherings. There are also picnic tables and tennis courts on the grounds. The boat ramp with two floating docks, allows access to East Bay via Callaway Bayou. Boating and other water recreations are the favorite local pastimes.

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Leisure seekers in Callaway will enjoy the beauty and facilities offered by the other parks such as Brittany Woods, Patterson Park, and Collinfurst. There are walking tracks and ponds as well as picnic areas in scenic surroundings. Patterson Park is located on the beautiful Callaway Bayou. Veteran’s Park is a new community centered park dedicated to those who serve in the country’s defense. The F-15 Eagle fighter is a striking feature of this park. And this park holds a pavilion dedicated to Technical Sergeant Robert Hodges a local boy who paid the ultimate price during the Desert Storm conflict. The local congregation prays at churches of different denominations including Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist.

The city is has developed many new facilities that increased its attractions to those seeking a good quality of life such as The Callaway Sports Complex. There are five multi-use fields for softball and baseball, two soccer fields and a football field as well as a large concession stand at the center equipped to provide a full food menu. The next major addition is a community recreation area that will include a playground, a walking track and picnic area near a pond. The complex is presently used primarily to support youth programs. The positive growth of the local economy is derived from the beneficial private/public partnerships between the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, the Cities of Panama City, Lynn Haven and Callaway, the Airport and Port Authorities that have facilitated infrastructure development and created new jobs.

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