Description - Eden State Gardens was once the site of the Wesley Lumber Company, one of the many businesses involved in timbering the forests of the Florida Gulf coast from the 1890s until after World War I. Company holdings included a sawmill, planer mill and dry kiln. A dock extended into Tucker Bayou to facilitate the loading of lumber onto barges for shipment. Twenty company-owned houses and a commissary meet the workers needs. Mr. Wesley built his family a Greek revival mansion in 1897. Today the mansion remains, however, the other buildings succumbed to the all-too-often area fires. The home stayed in the family until 1953 when Lois Maxon bought the property at which time she refurbished the home creating the second-largest collection of Louis XVI furniture in the United States. Before her death, Lois Maxon donated the property to the Florida Division of Recreation & Parks. Today, the antebellum grounds feature magnificent azaleas, camellias, live oaks and much more. A small picnic grove invites visitors to enjoy an outdoor meal.
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Eden State Gardens
- Eden State Gardens, which was once the home of the William Henry Wesley family, is now a place of tranquility and contemplation. Yet, nearly 100 years ago, a visit to Eden State Gardens would have vibrated with the whir of mechanical and human energy.
Moss-draped live oaks, which predate the Wesley Company, dominate the lawns. Camellias and azaleas offer colorful accents to the scene from October through May; enjoy the peak bloom around mid- March.
The grounds, gardens and picnic area are open daily from 8 a.m. until sundown. The house is open for hourly guided tours from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. A nominal fee is charged for tours. A picnic area with adjacent parking is available at the old mill site on Tucker Bayou.
Recreation - Eden State Gardens offers fishing, picnicking and public exhibitions. The house is open hourly for guided tours from 9 AM until 4 PM, Thursday through Monday. The grounds, gardens and picnic areas are open daily from 8 AM to sunset. Annual events include School of the Soldier, Emerald Coast Blues and BBQ Cook-off, Easter Sunrise Service, Art Quest and more.
Climate - The panhandle area of Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The average summer temperatures reach well above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild with temperatures averaging below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). The average precipitation for the panhandle area is more than 60 inches per year. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
Eden State Gardens are located in northwest Florida, in Point Washington off U.S. 98 on C.R. 395 and west of Panama City.