It has been commn to name cities in the new world for places fondly remembered back home. So did a French family have the ability to change the name of the city to reflect the famous French Rivera city of Nice (pronounced Neece) France? Then did English speaking residents adjust the pronunciation “Neeceville” to the English word “nice”, which means pleasant or delightful?
The Boggy post office was established on April 17, 1872. Perhaps at some point Boggy was not the name residents wanted to use as their postmark on their envelopes? Nor did people care for Choctawhatchee, the name of the bay, which some people might find hard to spell and pronounce accurately.
The chamber reports early “settlers were drawn here by the beautify of the bayou country, the availability of government land for homesteading and the desire to leave war devastated areas of other southern states.” People at first made their living cutting trees for wood burning steamboats hauling passengers and freight from one coastal city to another.
In 1905 the Hancock Turpentine Still began operation. Two more turpentine stills opened,as well as a samill, “and they furnished almost all employment in the area” the Chamber reorts until Eglin Field (now Eglin Air Force Base) opened.
Fishing wasn’t as important in those early days, the Chamber document notes.
In 1910 John B. Perrine bought 16,000 acres of land adjacent to Boggy and started to develop a major town now named Valparaiso. The joint chamber of commerce of Valparaiso and Niceville suggests it was not until around 1910 the name was changed.
Further up the road, near the I-10 exist, I met a young man, probably between 20 an 25 who had graduated from Niceville High school. He had only good things to say about his education and the city.
Since Niceville is next door to Eglin Force base, the city wasn’t hard hit by the 2008 housing crash and recession.
If Congress closed the base, as it has in other parts of the country, Niceville and Valpariaso would be in deep trouble.