Vacation Rentals Events Weather News Journal Things To Do Sign In

How did "Lenny the Marlin" Get his Name?

Did you hear the news? DestinFlorida.com has a mascot! Drumroll, please….. 

His name is “Lenny” the Marlin! We are honored to share that Lenny is named after the founding Founding Father of Destin - Leonard Destin. We could not think of a more perfect choice than to name our mascot after the man who settled in our beloved city. 


Section Image

Leonard Destin was born and raised in New London, CT during the 1800s. With Destin’s family background of fishermen, he served as a crew member on a fishing ship that traveled the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Eventually, he successfully became the captain of his ship where he discovered the remote island peninsula at the western end of the Florida Panhandle, east of Pensacola. Destin was mesmerized by the island’s beautiful white-sand beaches, but most of all, the abundance of fish in the area. Quickly, Destin jumped at the opportunity and started his own fishing business in the newfound territory, specifically the present-day Moreno Point. Leonard Destin established himself there - he married, built a home, had children, and continued to thrive in his business between 1851-1861. 


In 1861, the Civil war began and threw a wrench in Destin’s fishing business when the Confederates took control of the land. Union forces blockaded the coast but received supplies from sympathetic Floridians. Connecticut-born Leonard Destin was one of them and was arrested by the Confederates for being a Union sympathizer. He was taken to DeFuniak Springs to be tried for treason, and once sentenced, the penalty was death by hanging. However, Destin was a member of a fraternal order of Freemasons and luckily, so was the judge who tried him. As a result, the judge did not sentence him to death but had him imprisoned in DeFuniak Springs until the war was over.


Section Image

Fast forward to the end of the Civil war, in 1865, Leonard Destin returned to Moreno Point and got back to business! The business began to boom and as word spread, many people migrated to the area. Before they knew it, what was once a quiet island became a village! A man by the name of, Billy Marler started working for Destin and would become a key part of his legacy. Overtime, Marler, and Destin not only became best friends but also successfully expanded to over 100 boats in the fishing business! 


In the mid-1870s, Leonard Destin’s life ended. Fortunately, thanks to Billy Marler, he continued the Destin legacy. In time, tourists from everywhere wanted to visit the area to fish. Marler set up fishing camps on the bay near Moreno Point and the fishing village began to grow even more. In 1896, Marler established the first post office for the village. When Marler was filling out the paperwork for the village’s new post office, he came across a request for the name. You guessed it, he named the village “Destin” after his best friend, Leonard. May we never forget, Destin’s contributions towards fishing that made our city famous. It seemed appropriate and incredibly fitting to name the village after him.

Section Image

Today, Leonard Destin is survived by his Great Great Grandkids who continue his fishing legacy! In 2018, the Leonard Destin Park was completed in honor of Captain Leonard Destin. The park is located on Calhoun Ave, near Moreno Pointe which is where his family built their home in the 1850s. Last, but certainly not least, we can now add our mascot, Lenny to the list of many ways we honor Leonard Destin! If you would like to have Lenny the Marlin at your next scheduled event, we welcome you to call or email us. Right now, we are offering a special spring rate you can find here on our website.

Section Image