In 1910, Dr. G.G. French ordered a house from a catalog. It was shipped from New York to Pensacola by train and then to Camp Walton by barge. It came in pieces--and included everything needed to assemble a house by someone with “minimal carpentry skills.” During renovations, the mailing address “Dr. G.G. French, Camp Walton, Fla.” was discovered hand-written on the backs of boards which are on display in the Magnolia Grill.
The site chosen for the house was on a low bluff overlooking Santa Rosa Island. The house Dr. French built was two-story; with two bedrooms upstairs and two more bedrooms downstairs. It had a kitchen, dining room, butler’s pantry, bathroom and living room. Later, porches would be added. The house also had a basement with stairs near the kitchen. The original main staircase was in the center of the house, off the living room. It was made by routing out one-inch planks to fit the treads and risers. The original bathroom was between the two downstairs bedrooms.