South Laurel is a haven for sweet, Southern celebration on your most special day.
Beth & Charlie Clary
Owners and Enthusiasts
The Clary family roots are in North Okaloosa County—Murder Creek and Laurel Hill, specifically. As Chuck and Carolyn, the family’s patriarchs, aged, they felt a strong desire to get back to Chuck’s family roots close to Laurel Hill. Chuck wanted a weekend retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist season at the beach. He wanted to enjoy the simple pleasures of getting on a tractor to mow, fish in a pond, and just walk the property reflecting on times long gone by. With those thoughts in mind, he and his son Charlie set out to find the perfect piece of land and discovered South Laurel in Baker, Florida.
When the Clary family purchased South Laurel Farm in 1999, it was 36.73 acres of land, which backed up to the Blackwater State Forest. The property had a barn the family intended to renovate, but it was determined that the structure needed to be taken down completely. The new barn was erected in the same location as the existing barn and had two floors with four horse stalls on the first floor with a dog trot, tool room, and storage. Later, the first-floor horse stalls were converted to an apartment and additional storage. The second floor is the living space with an open kitchen, living, and dining space and two bedrooms and bathrooms. The property is now 119 acres with 20 full acres of cleared land around the barn. It includes a flowing creek, Penny Creek, a pond stocked with brim and bass, and a beautiful oak tree with a deck built under it for varied uses.
Chuck, Carolyn, and the family discussed the perfect name for the new farm at length and settled on South Laurel for two reasons. Chuck always liked the television series Dallas and especially the main ranch called “South Fork.” So, combining that with the family roots in Laurel Hill and areas south, they thought it perfect to name their new retreat “South Laurel Farm.”
Since the property was purchased by the Clarys, it has been used exactly as Chuck had hoped—a special retreat from everyday life for the family, Clary family reunions, even a hurricane evacuation or two. After Chuck and Carolyn both passed on, Charlie, an architect, and his wife Beth, a school teacher, have taken on the farm as their own and continue the Clary family legacy in North Okaloosa County. They were approached numerous times by locals passing by asking if they would consider allowing them to host a wedding or other special event on the property, and they decided South Laurel was too special not to share. They established South Laurel Weddings and Events in 2015 and they are eager to share this space filled with love and history with you for your most special days.