There are many significant dates in Destin's history. We have compiled a list of many of these dates. Click on the interctive timeline below and see where Destin started and what it has become.
July 1847 — Six surveyors from the War Department survey Moreno Point, the western end of modern-day Destin. At the time, a single family, the McCulloms, lives on the point.
1852 — Leonard Destin, a whaler from New London, Conn., settles at Moreno Point and starts fishing from East Pass. He was among members of the Destin family who had sailed to Key West in 1835 to extend the fishing season, and opted to remain in the area, fishing at various places along the Gulf of Mexico. In 1851, he married Martha McCollum, and they made their home in Orleans Parish, La, before returning to Moreno Point.
Feb. 1864 — The Union Army maps Northwest Florida from Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Island off Pensacola. At that time, a handful of families were living on Moreno Point.
March 1896 — An application is filed with the Post Office Department for a post office at East Pass. The department rejects the application, asking for a single-word name for the location. William Marler, who by that time had been working for Leonard Destin for some years, resubmits the application with the name Destin.
1909 — The War Department begins leasing land at the Moreno Point Military Reservation to pioneer settlers, 16 people were living in what was then called Destin.
1926 — The War Department declares the Moreno Point Military Reservation to be surplus property.
1930 — The War Department begins selling lots to the pioneer settlers.
1932 — Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Green of Pensacola purchase two lots on the harbor, totaling almost three acres. The tracts contain one small house, and the Greens subsequently build four more tourist rental cabins on the property.
1934 — U.S. Highway 98 is commissioned.
1934 — William Thomas Marler builds Destin's first post office building on his property facing Calhoun Avenue.
1936 — U.S. Highway 98 bridge at East Pass is completed.
1948 — The first Destin Fishing Rodeo launches to attract more tourists.
1973 — Construction begins on Sandpiper Cove, Destin's first condominiums, on Gulf Shore Drive.
1984 — Destin incorporates as a municipality.
1993 — The Mid-Bay Bridge opens.
2003 — Destin Commons shopping area opens.
2004 — Development of HarborWalk mixed-use area begins, continuing through 2015.
2012 — City of Destin completes quarter-mile Harbor Boardwalk project.
2017 — Florida Department of Transportation begins project to widen U.S. Highway 98 from outside the eastern city limits of Destin to Airport Road from four lanes to six lanes.
Source: "Destin's Founding Father: The Untold Story of Leonard Destin," by H.C. 'Hank' Klein
Photo credits: Destin History and Fishing Museum and Northwest Florida Daily News