The Panama City Publishing Company building was constructed by George Mortimer West around 1920 on a prominent corner in the heart of historic St. Andrews. He was a writer, promoter, economist, horticulturist, publisher, and entrepreneur. He is credited as the “founding father” of Panama City, building it into an economically viable city and port on the shores of St. Andrews Bay. In the late 1800’s, through his “Gulf Coast Development Company”, Mr. West turned the nation’s eyes to St. Andrews, and Panama City (known as Harrison at the time). Mr. West was recognized as a Great Floridian in 2000 by the Florida Department of State, and is one of 30 in the state. The building served as the home of Panama City’s first newspaper, the Panama City Pilot, and also the St. Andrews Bay News & Lynn Haven Free Press. Mr. West died in 1926 and his wife, “Miss Lillian”, continued to run the business. She was outspoken, and quite a businesswoman. She was the first woman registered to vote in Bay County. Miss Lillian sold the St. Andrews Bay News to John Perry, owner of the Panama City Herald in 1937, and he merged the two papers into the current Panama City News Herald. In addition to photos, newspapers, and documents produced by Mr. West, the building contains over 70 major items, including original printing presses and office furnishings. These were still in use by Mr. West’s great-great grandson Charles (Buddy) West, who operated the business until the City of Panama City purchased the building in October, 2005.
VISIT US at the Panama City Publishing Museum and Visitor’s Center:
1134 Beck Avenue
Panama City, Florida 32401
New Museum Hours
Tuesday through Friday 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Volunteers Needed for Historic Walking Tours
The Publishing Museum is looking for volunteers to assist with the Historic Walking Tours that occur every Wednesday & Friday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to participate in a tour, call the Museum Coordinator at 872-7208 or stop by the museum.