It's home to nearly 200 pieces of history and Monday the City of DeFuniak Springs celebrated one of its most prized pieces of history. Florida's oldest Civil War time Confederate monument sits on the Walton County courthouse lawn, several years ago it was vandalized and a vital piece of the monument went missing.
Civil War Era author and historian Dale Cox said, "this monument is unique because it was the first monument ever put up in Florida to honor Southern soldiers from the Civil War and to see it preserved and restored, I think that means a lot to the community and it shows that the community can take pride in its heritage and that everyone can come together and do something nice for the people that were here before us."
The Walton County Heritage Association hosted a ceremony on the Courthouse lawn for the newly restored piece of history. "We wanted to make this special to rededicate that part that was missing. the hand and the urn were vandalized some time ago and the heritage association decided to have this restored", said Marie Hinson, the chairperson of the re-dedication committee.
The Confederate monument was made in New Orleans in 1871 and has been in Walton County ever since. "It's just a unique part of Walton County and Northwest Florida and it's something I think people have a special appreciation for here", said Cox.
Cox was a guest speaker at the re-dedication ceremony Monday. "Its just something that's always interested me and growing up in the area it's kind of neat to know about the things that happened here before any of us were around", said Cox.
94 names are listed on the monument, Confederate soldiers that lost their lives in the war. Civil War mourners and family members were among the crowd at the re-dedication. "I think it's wonderful, I had looked forward to this day, I'm so thankful to all the people that came out and made this a real special occasion," added Hinson.
The Walton County Heritage Association raised about $3,500 to fix the monument, and GLMCO, a local company, made the new top piece.