Fort Walton Beach Florida may very well have been started as a building on a mound. We’ll never know because the history of this area dates back to pre-historic times. In 1879, John Thomas Brooks purchased 111 acres in Section 24, Township 2, Range 24 of Santa Rosa County. This parcel, known then as Camp Walton would later become downtown Fort Walton Beach. However, the Name Fort Walton Beach was not official until it was officially changed in 1953. A thriving support industry benefits from close proximity to Eglin and Hurlburt Air Force bases. Some reports suggest tourism and Military account for the bulk of the local Fort Walton Beach economy.