WELCOME TO CARYVILLE. A small close-knit community of two hundred fifty or so hardy souls, located in the northwest corner of Washington County.
Caryville is an early sawmill town that’s presence was dictated by its close proximity to the Choctawhatchee River. Caryville, originally known as Half Moon Bluff, boomed quickly as a construction camp for the Pensacola & Atlantic railroad (CSX). Workers used the bluff as a base of operations in the late 1800’s. The Town was named for R. M. Cary, The P&A Railroad Company Secretary, so the story goes. Big scale timber operations began with the establishment of Sanford Lumber Company well before the end of the 19th century. By 1903 the Lumber Company was furnishing employment to four hundred hands. Caryville’s one claim to fame may be the fact that they were the first town in Washington County to receive Electric Lights.
Caryville has a long and detailed history as a sawmill town. Back in its heyday Caryville sported a School, post office, numerous shops, churches, Greyhound bus service, Western Union and a local Police force. Ironically, Caryville tried to secede from Washington County to join neighboring Holmes County in a protest over the removal and merger of its local school. The movement was short-lived due to the political and legal aspects that made such an effort difficult to accomplish.
Fires and floods seem to be the force Caryville has had to contend with the most. Fires in 1903, 1926 and 1971 destroyed major business in the area.
Also Floods were recorded in 1865, 1916, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1975, 1990 and 1994 and still recording. After the catastrophic flood of 1994, the government instituted a major buyout of the flood prone land.
Since that time, Caryville has become a sleepy little river town where family, friendship and fishing is prized above all else. If you need a little R&R or would like to catch that really big one, you need to come and just sit a spell. Caryville will make you feel right at home.