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Our History

The Historical Society of Bay County (HSBC) was founded on the concept of collecting and preserving the rich history of Bay County. Through the years, their activities grew from continuing a celebration of early settlers begun in the 1940s, known as the Pioneer Picnic, to presenting monthly educational programs. The HSBC began to collect historical documents and artifacts as well. The HSBC continued to expand its presence in the community by establishing a historic signage program, supporting historic research and lobbying for preservation of historic sites.

 At the request of Panama City officials, the HSBC took a lead role in the city's Centennial Celebration in 2009. In 2013, the society worked to celebrate Bay County's centennial. As the initial goals were met and its mission expanded, it became imperative to provide public access and enjoyment of the society's collections. Through its creation of the Bay County History Museum, our community now has an opportunity to nurture their appreciation of the past, develop an understanding of their place in time and relate to the future. 

Our Mission

The purpose of the Society shall be to serve present and future generations by collecting, preserving and sharing artifacts, documents and images pertaining to the unique culture and history of Bay County and its environs, assist in the preservation of historic sites within the county; and to operate the Bay County History Museum as an educational resource for the public, a repository for its collections and a place to present exhibits and educational programs.​


 James Sowell enjoying the exhibit 'The 20th Century on Panama City Beach: A Century of Fun..!".

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Planning the Future..................... January Board Meeting 2024

Barbara Mulligan: Artist Creates Logo

This logo of the Historical Society of Bay County was created exclusively to represent the Historical Society of Bay County by artist Barbara Mulligan.  Barbara was a member of the society and a third generation Bay Countian. Her grandfather was John Henry Laird, a prominent businessman in the area. 

The original is a pen and ink drawing featuring an early 1900s launch that was used in the area for fishing as well as to transport passengers, mail and other goods.  Bay Fisheries, seen in the background, was founded in 1908 and located at the present day south end of Frankford Avenue on St. Andrews Bay.


2023-2024 Officers 


Kenny Redd   


1st Vice President
Mike Nichols


2nd Vice President
Bob Hurst


3rd Vice President
Glenda Walters

Kathleen O'Brien

Tem Fontaine


Board of Directors


Ed Bell


Doug Huntsucker


Lila Locke


Beverly Nield


Brenda Dye


Jacob Cook

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