1913-1922. Incorporated in 1913, Bunnell was named after an early settler named Alvah Bunnell, a shingle maker. The first brick in the Old Brick Road was laid in Bunnell in 1915 by the daughter of Isaac I. Moody, who was instrumental in founding Flagler County in 1917. Moody died that same year of influenza; his brother Robert died six weeks later. It cost 20 cents to watch three movies in 1920, at the Strand theater.
1923-1932. Bunnell High School was built in 1924, followed by the original courthouse in 1926. A one-ton pickup was advertised for $490. In 1930, Bunnell High defeated Green Cove in a defensive basketball game, by a score of 10-4. Like the rest of Flagler County, Bunnell residents flocked to the beach when Charles Lindbergh visited in 1931.
1933-1942. Thanks to the Works Projects of America, the federal government built Bunnell City Hall, the Little Red School House, the jail and the boardwalk at Flagler Beach. City Hall was a center of town, hosting prom and the Cabbage Ball. Goods were shipped out of the county by rail.
1943-1952. Joseph Brady Wadsworth earned a Silver Star for his heroics in World War II. More than 400 Flagler County residents fought in the war, while those who were left behind helped can fruit and vegetables. People rode horses and ponies through town. After the war, Walter Morris returned to be the leader of the high school band.
1953-1962. Dr. John Canakaris established Bunnell General Hospital. U.S. 1 was expanded from two to four lanes. A cement plant, Lehigh Portland, was built off Roberts Road and delivered a high of 15 million barrels in 1959.
1963-1972. Lehigh Portland closed in 1965, putting 175 people out of work and sending Bunnell into an economic downturn. The plant had contributed one-third of all tax revenue in the county. Interstate 95 was built in the 1960s, but it bypassed Bunnell, contributing to hard times. Freedom of choice for school attendance was granted, resulting in partial integration in the Bunnell High School Class of 1968. Then there was a fire at Bunnell High in 1970, and the water damage caused by the efforts of the volunteer fire department rendered the building useless. Full integration of the schools resulted. ITT bought land from Lewis Wadsworth to create Palm Coast.
1973-1982. ITT offered land to build a new high school, with the stipulation that it include the name “Palm Coast” in the title: thus Flagler Palm Coast High School. Marco Polo Land was built where Plantation Bay is now located; the amusement park had a 200-foot Ferris wheel and other amusements with a Chinese motif. Tourism took a dive, though, and Marco Polo Land had to close for good. Kim Hammond was enrobed as judge in 1980; he served for the next three decades.
1983-1992. One woman left her home in Bunnell in 1985 to visit the beach, with only her bathing suit, a towel and her children in her car. She returned to find her house had burned down — one of 175 lost in Flagler County. Sawmill Estates was developed. The Holden House was restored. Charles Henry Turner was the lead trumpet player for Frank Sinatra. City of Bunnell population was about 2,300, which is about the same as it was as in 1920.
1993-2002. A second disastrous wave of fires in 1998 caused countywide evacuations. Al Gore visited the area to survey the destruction. First Baptist Church of Bunnell, Bunnell Elementary School and the Bunnell Lions Club all celebrated their 75th anniversaries.
2003-2012. As Palm Coast grew, Bunnell annexed 92,818 acres in Flagler County, making it one of the state’s largest cities, at 141 square miles, with a population of 2,676 in 2010. The new courthouse was built. The first Potato Festival was held to celebrate one of the county’s main crops. The Old Brick Road, the Little Red School House and the Bunnell State Bank were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Carver Center was funded to preserve it as a place for mentoring and after-school programs. Soccer star Eddie Johnson and football star Mardy Gilyard hit the national stage.
2013. Bunnell turns 100!
For a photo gallery, click here. or a historical photo tour follow this link
by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor— Sisco and Gloria Deen, Diane Marquis and Jim Challender contributed to this report.