Panacea, an unincorporated rural community in Wakulla County, was founded in 1895 and still maintains the “Old Florida” feel. Named after its legendary mineral springs, with Panacea meaning cure-all or remedy in Latin, the community drew much tourism related to the purported healing powers of the springs.
The Panacea Mineral Springs Hotel was a prominent establishment until it burned down in the 1920s, after which the Great Depression and a major hurricane subsequently depressed the local economy. During World War II, the community thrived again due to its proximity to industry. While the community has declined in recent years, Panacea main traditions are successfully transitioning into new formats, like the transition of wild oyster harvesting into oyster farming.
Certain institutions and organizations also have a long history in Panacea, including the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and the Panacea Waterfronts Board, which was established in 2001 to guide community and economic development. By implementing this Economic Development and Disaster Resilience Plan, the Community of Panacea can further support these institutions, traditions, and improve quality of life for future generations.