The closing of the Bagdad Land & Lumber Company in 1939 brought the end of an era. The industry that had created the community was gone, and the residents of the village had to find ways to survive. There were other mills, plants, and businesses in nearby towns, such as the J.A. Chaffin & Company and the Bay Point Mill Company but none of them rivaled the size and influence of the Bagdad Mill. World War II helped improve the economy of Northwest Florida, and Bagdad prospered after President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Pensacola Naval Air Station in 1938. Whiting Field was built in 1943. After the war, the county helped upgrade Bagdad's infrastructure, including the construction of a concrete bridge over the Blackwater River. By the 1950s, the population in the village stabilized at about 1,000 residents. As the rest of the county and the city of Pensacola boomed residents continued to enjoy the charm of small-town life. The establishment of the University of West Florida in the late 1960s helped grow the county and the listing of Bagdad in 1987 on the National Register of Historic Places helped preserve the historic village. Bagdad's population at the beginning of the new millennium was 1,490.
The Bagdad Village Preservation Association
Established in 1986, the Bagdad Village Preservation Association, Inc.
(BVPA) was founded to preserve, educate and further historical, cultural, and community affairs. The BVPA currently owns, maintains, and manages three historic structures: the Bagdad Village Museum (c. 1880), the Milligan House (c. 1910), and the Old Bagdad Post Office (c. 1900). The BVPA hosts a number of public events each year including lectures and community festivals.
Left, bottom: The BVPA museum
Center: Bridge leading to Bagdad, post WWII
Right, top: Workers watching last log saved, 1939
Right, middle: Bagdad Elementary School