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Okaloosa County

Year Founded: 1947


The area, which was planned to be an extraordinary commercial-industrial complex on Garnier’s Bayou, was originally named the Port Dixie Harbor and Terminal Company. The optimistic venture depended on two things: the enlargement of Destin East Pass to accommodate large sea vessels and the construction of a railroad that would service the complex. The plan failed in 1931. In the 1940s, Clifford Meigs constructed 160 houses for rental to Air Force officers for rest and recuperation. This venture was successful and the town was incorporated in 1947 as Shalimar, meaning “lovely home by the beautiful water.” Meigs served as mayor from 1947 to 1960. He also donated land for Choctawhatchee High School (now Meigs Middle School), a stadium and the county courthouse. Jim Tras was Shalimar’s first elected mayor in 1965, following a short term in office by Clyde Meigs, Clifford Meig’s brother, and a term of two to three years by Sara Tras, who was married to Clifford Meigs at the time of his death and then married Jim Tras.

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