Colonial People of Pensacola Project (Image: a view of Pensacola in West Florida by Geoge Gauld, 1765)


The Colonial People of Pensacola Project is a public archaeology project in downtown Pensacola focusing on the civilian residents of colonial Pensacola between 1750 and 1821. West Florida was often a spoil of European wars and as a result was occupied by several European powers. The Spanish established a small fort on the site of present day Pensacola around 1750 and occupied it until 1763 when West Florida passed into British hands. The British expanded and improved the Spanish fort and removed the scattering of small dwellings outside the fort walls. It was the British who established the town plan still in existence today. The Spanish regained control of West Florida in 1781 and returned to Pensacola, although as a diminished power. In 1821, after years of border conflicts, West Florida was ceded to the United States.

Two sites in the area around the remains of the Fort of Pensacola have been targeted for research. One site, Plaza Ferdinand, is a public park in the heart of the urban area. Early historic maps indicate structures once occupied the site and unlike much of the downtown area, the plaza has not been impacted by the effects of urbanization. The likelihood of intact colonial deposits is high in this area. The Barkley house lot, located on the eastern edge of the historic district, has been impacted by some building episodes, however, early historic maps suggest that the remains of nine colonial residences are present on the site. Both sites will offer insights on the lives of people living on the Florida Gulf Coast frontier.

St. Michael's Cemetery Project

The City of Pensacola The Univeristy of West Florida Historical Pensacola Preservation Board
(now West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc.)

Site Design by Suzanne Bushway.
ColdFusion by William Hair.
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