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Old 07-24-2007, 08:05 PM
Location: Living in Paradise
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I'll start with Navarre, add your favorite town:


The founder of Navarre was Colonel Guy Wyman, colonel in the United States Army. His family used to visit the area, and they had purchased a lot of property. Wyman was in World War I where he met a French nurse named Noel. He wanted to bring her back with him to the United States to marry her, and the only way he could bring her back was to adopt her. So, he did. Noel had actually named Navarre after a province in Spain near France. During the Great Depression, they couldn’t pay the taxes on it. So they had to start selling it off. Part of that property is where the Navarre Park is today. Noel traveled to New York to teach French to earn money to pay the taxes. When she came back, Colonel Wyman had taken a shining to another young lady. When their divorce was final, he told Noel not to set foot on his property. She came on his property allegedly to tend to a pet cemetery that she had, and Colonel Wyman shot her. He didn’t get in trouble because he had warned her. Colonel Wyman’s parents were murdered in Navarre by the Roberts brothers. Apparently, the Roberts brothers thought the Wymans had a lot of money, tried to rob them and ended up murdering them. They were nabbed and then hanged in Crestview.

Navarre is an unincorporated community in Santa Rosa County in the Northwest Florida Panhandle. Navarre is about 25 miles east of Pensacola and about 15 miles west of Fort Walton Beach. The community is roughly centered on the junction of U.S. Highway 98 and Florida State Road 87. Navarre is located at 30.401° N 86.863° WCoordinates: 30.401° N 86.863° W. It is located within a portion of the Florida Panhandle observing the Central Time zone. Elevation is 10 feet. The community of Navarre is located on the Gulf Coastal Plain and is built on mostly sandy soil. It is bounded geographically in the north by the East River and on the south by the Santa Rosa Sound. A town located between major Naval and Air Force bases. Along with Navarre Beach, Navarre is increasingly becoming a tourist recreational area, declaring itself "Florida's Best Kept Secret." A boardwalk, park, and butterfly house are located near the bridge to Navarre Beach, which is immediately across Santa Rosa Sound to the south.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:17 PM
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Here's a bit more about Colonel Wyman/Navarre history much of the information extracted from the book "Pioneering in the Panhandle" written by William James Wells, with great thanks:

Guy H. Wyman was a Captain in the U.S. Army in 1905; he was a talented surveyor/engineer and was initially sent to the area in that year to survey the coastline between Fort Barrancas (near Pensacola) and the East Pass at Destin. He brought his father with him, Peter Wyman, a native of Ottawa, Illinois. Apparently his dad was enchanted with what is now the Navarre area, moved there with his wife Emily, and built a home on Santa Rosa Sound in a location approximately two miles East of the current location of the Navarre Bridge.
On June 15th, 1915 the octagenarians, peacefully enjoying their retirement, were brutally murdered in what was apparently a botched robbery. The three Roberts brothers (Percy, Brady, and Jim) and two accomplices (Elder Mitchel and John Barbaree) were apprehended and jailed within four days of the attack thanks to the excellent police work of then County Sheriff Captain J.H. Harvell. An interesting forensic detail of the investigation was that one of the footprints found at the crime scene was missing a toe and it exactly matched the footprint of Brady Roberts. Also, one of the brothers was observed removing the shot from shotgun shells and replacing it with bicycle ball bearings the day before the murders. A neighbor, Bob Oglesby, reportedly discovered a grisly crime scene. They were all found guilty, sentenced to hang and scaffolding was erected, however, the sentences were commuted at the last minute to life in prison, reportedly due to the fact that two of the brothers were less than twenty years of age.
Captain Wyman was in the Phillipines on military assignment and returned 6 months after the death of his parents. He reportedly spent one night in the house and burned it down the next day.
Captain Wyman served in France in during the First Word War and reportedly received many awards and medals for meritorious service (I assume this is where he met his first bride Noel). He retired as a Colonel and returned the area with Noel in 1925. He acquired a considerable tract of land, personally surveyed it, and laid out the town of Navarre. Noel is reported to have named it after a province in northern Spain near France. He set aside the area on the sound as a park which is now the Navarre Park.
The story regarding Noel is interesting: He reportedly had to adopt her as his legal child to bring her back to the U.S from France due to immigration laws. The story is he couldn't bring her back as his fiance or even as his legal wife. During The Great Depression they couldn't afford to pay the property taxes on all the land they owned, and she went to New York to teach French for additional income. Apparently he was unfaithful during her absence and they were divorced. He reportedly shot and killed her for trespassing on his property after the divorce (she reportedly merely came on his land to attend to a pet cemetary). He was not prosecuted due to pre-warning her, the story goes. He did remarry and his second wife was named Marjorie. They had a daughter and grandaughter.
Colonel Wyman was later employed by Johnson, Drake, and Piper, Contractors, in the construction of the Pensacola Bay Bridge during the years 1930-1931. He eventually moved to Valparaiso, Florida, where was employed as an engineer on Eglin Air Force Base; interestingly he later became the first Chief of Police of the town of Valparaiso. Guy Wyman was born May 21st, 1878 and died April 15th, 1953.

Added by John Charles French, Navarre resident since 1997, resident of the Panhandle Gulf Coast since 1961
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