Pana Vista Lodge History

Pana Vista Lodge was a large plantation home built on the Outlet River in the 1880's by a man named Harris. His wife was a daughter of the owners of the White Sewing Machine Company. She didn't care for the country living of Florida, so Mr. Harris sold the home to the King family. Some say that the King family was planning on using the large home for a tuberculosis sanitarian but it didn't materialize as they had planned.

Also on the premises from 1885-1912, a citrus packaging plant called the Panasoffkee Packing Company was in operation. At that time, the majority of the country's citrus was produced in Central Florida. The citrus was brought to the plant, packaged, and then shipped on barges to a local railroad to be sent abroad. After hard freezes around the turn of the century, the citrus industry in this area died off, and the plant was no longer needed.

In 1923, the King family sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Knight who enlarged the home and operated it as a Hotel. Many northern tourists occupied the Hotel when they would come to spend their winters in Florida to hunt and fish. The Hotel burned to the ground in 1929.

In the mid 1930's, the Knights sold the property to the Savage family. A few cabins were constructed to expand the camp, which was then sold to Sid & Bessie Lee in the early 1940's.

Mr. & Mrs. John Veal and Mr. & Mrs. Rufus Wysong bought the lodge in 1948 as partners. John Veal died in 1951 and the Veal family bought the partnership, In 1954, Jim Veal, Sr. and his wife, Eloise, moved their family from Northwestern Georgia to help his widowed mother, Elizabeth Veal manage the camp. Jim Sr. and Eloise's son, Jim Veal, Jr., became employed full time in 1976 to help his family run the business. He then became the 3rd generation family member to be employed at Pana Vista Lodge. At this present time, Jim Veal Sr., Eloise Veal, & Jim Veal Jr. still own and operate the fish camp with some occasional part time help from Jim Jr.'s daughters, Katie & Kelli while attending college. They are the 4th generation of Veal's to work at Pana Vista Lodge.

To this day, Pana Vista Lodge is still operated with an old fashion Florida fish camp atmosphere. It is a full service fish camp complete with live bait, and a tackle shop. Pana Vista Lodge has also been a sales and service dealership for Johnson & Evinrude outboard motors since the late 1950's with many service parts on hand. It's fully furnished, rustic but modernized, cabins offer everything a fisherman or family needs for a day, week, or longer. For those who prefer to camp, Pana Vista Lodge offer a full hook-up R.V. park and a primitive tent camping area to cover everyone's camping needs. Bring your own boat or even rent a fishing boat or pontoon boat for a day out on the water.

panasoffkee Packing Company