Our History

“By 1955 standards it was a typical Monday morning in the Twin Cities. Clear skies, warm, calm and quiet. A few folks puttered about and occasionally a car would pass by just to stir things up. It was the day Ruckel Properties hung out its shingle. And nobody paid much attention to the event.” –Walt Ruckel

Ruckel Properties, Inc. opened its doors for business in the summer of 1955, armed with the dream and the commitment to provide the Niceville-Valparaiso twin cities with communities and neighborhoods that would be unequaled in Northwest Florida. Today, over 60 years later, the area abounds with the realization of those dreams.

Residential communities such as Rocky Bayou, Fairway Woods, Swift Creek, Parkview Place and Deer Moss Creek® are testaments to the high quality and preservation of nature that makes a Ruckel Properties community a place where families enjoy living for generations.

Walt Ruckel, founder, owner, and driving force behind this outstanding real estate development firm, had a simple philosophy that held him in good stead over the years…never do anything, which is not of the highest quality possible, and never misrepresent anything to a customer.

Walt said he learned that philosophy as a boy at the knee of his grandfather, James E. Plew, who was one of the founders of Niceville/Valparaiso and who donated original land acreage for Eglin Air Force Base.

Walt involved his family in the business as his father and mother had involved him. His daughter Marion Ruckel Skalicky is President and CEO.

C. Walter Ruckel, Jr. and his grandfather James E. Plew in front of the former Valparaiso State Bank building, about 1931.
C. Walter “Walt” Ruckel, Jr. surveying with his infant daughter Marion on his back, 1968.

Philosophy & Inspiration

For decades, the Ruckel family spent time on the property appreciating nature, stargazing, horseback riding, swimming, hunting, and camping. Deer Moss Creek® is a 1087-acre master-planned, mixed-use community designed around the natural beauty of the creek and woods. It is a destination where a person can build a dream home, expand a business, walk to work, and find shopping or entertainment in the Town Center area. Developer Marion Ruckel Skalicky often says Deer Moss Creek® will feel like “a city within a city.”

Choosing Deer Moss Creek® means choosing excellence and craftsmanship. The Town Architect reviews and approves plans submitted by members of the Builders’ Guild. The builders follow the Aesthetic Design Code to set quality standards and ensure there is a variety of home plans, colors, and textures to make streetscapes interesting and never “cookie-cutter.”

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