Historic Markers Across Florida

Indianola Inn

Marker ID: FLHM F-569
Location: 113 Brooks Street SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
County: Okaloosa
Coordinates: N 30° 24.15    W 086° 36.496
  30.4025    -86.60826666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Indianola Inn, An Indian
Midden Mound, and
Civil War Cannons

(Side 1)
The Indianola Inn, the second hotel in this area, was built on this midden mound in 1912 – the only structure ever permitted to do so. The inn burned in 1962, but the steps, foundation parts, and well head have been preserved. The inn had been condemned several days prior to the fire and the owners were to be notified the day after the fire. In 1927 the rate for staying at the inn was $25.00 per week including all meals, the use of a boat and guest services. The inn's original owners were Mrs. Mary Frances Brooks Pryor and her husband. Mrs. Pryor's father, John Thomas Brooks built the first hotel in the area, Brooks House, and later sold it leaving the Indianola Inn the only Brooks family hotel. Out of respect for the archeological significance of the mound the developers of the Indianola on the Water Condominium project did not disturb the mound area. The Indian midden mound, dating back to 500 BC to 1000 AD (The Woodlands Period), was a trash pile for early settlers of the Fort Walton Beach area. Fort Walton, Weeden Island, Santa Rosa-Swift Creek, and Deptford period ceramics were found during a 1966 archeological excavation.

(Side 2)
Artifacts such as animal and fish bones, pottery, eating utensils, and arrows were uncovered during an extensive 2005 archeological study conducted prior to the start of the condominium project. It is believed upper middle class Indians lived here, but there have never been any confirmed human bone findings. A button found in 1966 was attributed to a soldier of the Fort Walton Guard, commanded by Confederate Captain William McPherson. During the Civil War he used the cannon and this site to protect “The Narrows" of Santa Rosa Sound where it enters Choctawatchee Bay. At that time, the land extended several hundred yards farther into the Sound. Archeologists have suggested the height of the mound was raised by the Walton Guardsmen affording better cannon positioning. A cannon, discovered in the 1930s, was displayed on the Sound side of the Indianola Inn until 1962. The cannon was then moved to the Indian Temple Mound Museum, north of here. Three cannon balls, discovered in 2005, were used during this period. Based on their size, it is known that they were not shot from the cannon that was discovered in the 1930s. It is believed there is another cannon in this area that has not been unearthed.

A Florida Heritage Landmark

F-569 2006


City: Destin, FL