Just east of Long Beach, Gideon Marion Thomas purchased 104 acres in March 1935 and began construction of a 12 room, 2 story hotel, which he named the Panama City Beach Hotel. He had moved there in February from his 2,000 acre deer farm on Camp Flowers Road. Included at Panama City Beach were some cottages, a water supply, three windmills and a 1,000 foot pier. Unfortunately Gideon died in 1937. His daughter, Claudia and her husband, Angus W. Pledger, continued the development. Later they built the famous entrance arch that welcomed everyone to Panama City Beach. In 1939, a post office was approved for Panama City Beach and A. W. Pledger became the first postmaster. So that, our friends, was the first hotel in Panama City Beach!