First Presbyterian Church in Lynn Haven, Florida
The First Presbyterian Church in Lynn Haven

Lynn Haven is a small city on the north side of the Panama City-Lynn-Haven-Panama City Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is inland but with water access to the Gulf of Mexico via North Bay, an arm of St. Andrews Bay.

Lynn Haven was first settled in 1911 as a "Union Veterans Colony," an Old Soldiers Colony chosen for its climate, healthfulness and productivity of the soil. The first lots were put on the market in January, 1911 ($150 for a town lot and a 5-acre plot just outside the city boundary). By June that year the population had risen to 200, by December it topped 1,200. In 1917, the St. Andrews Bay Development Company went into bankruptcy and things changed. At that point, the then president of the United Fruit Company bought out the former development company, then he bought more than 200,000 acres more land and the local railroad. He built two hotels in nearby Panama City, then developed a golf course on North Bay.

Like the rest of the country, finances through the 1920's were in the doldrums, then came a wave of retiring Spanish-American War veterans with their pension checks. The years of the Great Depression hurt Lynn Haven severely and business didn't start to pick up again until after World War II. Then the residential developers arrived in the 1970's and Lynn Haven has grown to where it is now: the second largest city in Bay County.

The population of Lynn Haven is up more than 48% since 2000.