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Hawkshaw is the name of a waterfront area along Pensacola Bay east of downtown Pensacola. The Hawkshaw area can be basically defined as south of Gregory Street and east of Ninth Avenue to the bay in both directions.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a Native American occupation, designated the Deptford culture, which inhabited the area from about 150 CE.

During Pensacola's second Spanish period, in the mid-18th century, the area was the site of a brick kiln. Under British rule, the Hawkshaw area was home to the Governor's Villa, a complex built for West Florida Governor Peter Chester and burned during the Spanish recapture of Pensacola in 1781.

Following the transfer of Florida to the United States in 1821, the area was planned as part of a "New City" to serve the burgeoning railroad industry. The New City Hotel was built in 1836 in anticipation of the district's growth, but the plan ultimately failed, and Hawkshaw became a predominantly black, working-class neighborhood for stevedores and other industrial workers. The Hawkshaw waterfront included Wright's Lumber Mill, Muscogee Wharf and a number of L&N Railroad facilities, including the roundhouse.

The first documented use of the name "Hawkshaw" is on a black-and-white photograph of the area which has "Hawkshaw ... 1939" handwritten on its face.[1]

The Gulf Power building built on the Hawkshaw site.

When Gulf Power began construction of their new headquarters on Bayfront Parkway in 1985, they invited a team of UWF archaeologists to excavate the site. Dr. Judy Bense and her team discovered hundreds of trash pits from the Deptford era that had not mixed with remains from other time periods, yielding food remains and other debris that provide a very clear picture of how the Deptford culture lived.


Other images[edit]


  1. Archaeology and History at Hawshaw(1985). Written and illustrated by D. C. Dusevitch, Edited by Judith A. Bense