Garnier Post Office Museum
The Garnier Post Office Museum is a historic building in downtown Fort Walton Beach. As part of the Heritage Park and Cultural Center, this museum interprets items from the early postal era of this county covering the years 1918 to 1956.
Mr. Euphrates A. Mooney was appointed postmaster of the original Garnier Post Office in 1906. It was located on the beach of Garnier's Bayou, in the corner of a mercantile store called "The E A. Mooney and Company."
When the mail began coming from Crestview in 1918, the older post office was deserted and a new one was built at the junction of Mooney and Garnier Post Roads. In 1918 Mooney assumed his duties at the new Garnier's Post Office.
Mr. Mooney came to this country from Germany, where he was an accomplished musician, vocalist, and piano tuner. When traveling and tuning pianos for other musicians, his wife ran the affairs of the Garnier Post Office. After Mr. Mooney's death in 1935, Mrs. Julia Mooney succeeded her husband as the postmaster and served for over 28 years as a postmistress.
The mail came by boat from Pensacola and overland six miles from Mary Esther. The mail boat then chugged on to Boggy Bayou staying overnight and returning to Pensacola the next day. Many times, so the story goes, Mrs. Mooney paddled a boat to a region of Camp Pinchot Road and then up the Bayou to pick up her mail from a truck.
Mrs. Mooney gave the people their mail day or night, whenever they called for it. Some people traveled as much as 28 miles to get their mail, but old timers say that the rural routes finally killed the Garnier Post Office. When the mail was delivered to homes by postal carriers, small rural post offices were no longer effective and soon were phased out. This post office was phased out before Mrs. Mooney's death in 1956.
The Garnier Post Office was moved behind the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum on First Street in 1986. The Junior Service League of Fort Walton Beach restored the Garnier Post Office in conjunction with the City of Fort Walton Beach over the next few years. The opening and dedication of the restored building was held on May 1st, 1988 with Congressman Earl Hutto attending.
In January 2006 the Garnier Post Office Museum was moved to its current location and is now part of The City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and Cultural Center. It is open to the public and its education programs are conducted by the Museum Division, City of Fort Walton Beach.
It is located directly behind the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum.
Admission to this building is included with your regular museum admission price. This museum is handicapped accessible and is a one-minute walk around the mound from the Indian Temple Mound Museum.