Destin’s famed Clary Estate is on the market

Matt Algarin
The Clary Estate, located at 777 Bayou Drive, is the “iconic” home of Roger and Ella Clary and is now on the market for $4.95 million.

After four decades of a storied past, Destin’s famed Clary Estate is opening its gates to the real estate market.

“This is an iconic estate,” said John Paul Somers, Real Estate Broker for John Paul Somers & Company. “This family is legendary… among many of their local claims to fame, most notably; as founding developers of Destin.”

As you pass through the wrought iron gates of the Clary Estate, you are transformed into a different era in Destin as you approach the majestic plantation-style home with its sprawling terraces and stately columns. Constructed in 1969, the house sits on an irreplaceable 3.38-acre expanse of pristine land and is listed for $4.95 million.

Under the canopy of mature live oaks, the three-story home at 777 Bayou Drive in Destin has five bedrooms, five baths, three powder rooms, a boathouse, and three contiguous lots totaling 300 feet of deep-water overlooking the scenic Joe’s Bayou from atop its gentle bluff.

The meticulously maintained estate was the home of Roger Clary and his wife Ella, who had the 7,600-plus square foot home built under very intense supervision.

Roger was a hugely successful entrepreneur in the early days of South Okaloosa County, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin, founding and operating many very notable businesses that helped form the economic infrastructure of the Emerald Coast.

Having served as president of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, president of the Air Force Armament Museum, and on the board of directors for Humana Hospital, Clary was a major player in the area.

“Roger was very influential in the success of many businesses along the Emerald Coast, and someone I greatly admire.” Somers told The Log while touring the grand estate. “Both Roger and Ella obviously wanted to deliver lasting quality in everything they did and this estate is nothing short of that — every aspect of this property deserves the highest level of recognition.”

The Clary’s developed Silver Beach in the early 50s, which actually put Destin "on the map", and then with an eye for the needs of Destin, they developed the First National Bank of Destin (later AmSouth, now Regions), then Indian Bayou Golf and Country Club, and went on to build the first shopping center of Destin, The Shores.

Walking through the estate’s formal rooms, it’s easy to judge by the level of finish that no expense was spared. Whether it’s the shimmering Baccarat crystal chandelier (from a palace in Russia), greeting you as you enter through the custom designed "fortress" doorway, or the fabulous grand stairway, each and every room of this estate tells a story.

As if the home itself wasn’t enough to peak your interest, in the 80s, the Clary’s added a 3,000-plus square foot pool pavilion with motorized sliding roof panels, an oversized pool, a hot tub, sauna, a full size summer kitchen, with full cocktail bar and two full baths. Somers says the estate would appeal to an affluent family who wants to purchase an iconic piece of history that they can pass down from generation to generation.

For more information about the Clary Estate or John Paul Somers & Company, call (850) 259-9732, or visit or

Given the tremendous attention to detail, whether it’s the gorgeous millwork produced from Roger's own wood-mill once located in Niceville, or the one of a kind custom forged fixtures, the Clary Estate is a living piece of history that is unlike anything found in Destin or surrounding areas.

“This home is of great historical value and I feel honored that the Clary’s would grant me the privilege to market and sell such a legendary property,” Somers said.