Avondale Mills Recreational Resort Historic Site
Located in Camp Helen State Park, the Avondale Mills Recreational Resort Historic Site offers a rare glimpse into the unique past of the Panama City Beach area.
Avondale Mills was a textile company that started in the Birmingham, Alabama neighborhood of the same name in 1897 and grew into a network of textile mills across the southeastern United States. The company was known for its progressive policies and for providing its workers with amenities and benefits that were uncommon at the time in the company-town style mill villages where many of its workers lived. Mill workers received free medical care and their children were offered no interest loans for college.
In the 1940’s the company established the recreational resort Camp Helen at the site of a burned down hotel in today’s Camp Helen State Park just outside of Panama City Beach. In the summer the mills were closed at times to allow workers to enjoy paid vacations at the resort until it closed in 1987. Avondale Mills has since shuttered its doors as well but site seers can visit restored buildings from the period at Camp Helen State Park.
Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, Fl 32413 and is open from 8 AM to sundown 7 days a week. Fees are $4/vehicle, $2/pedestrian, bicycle, additional occupant. Click here for info on other area parks.