Pensacola, Florida
Spainish occupied in 1559


Pensacola (pop. 58,165; met. area pop. 344,406) is Florida's largest deepwater seaport. Its chief industries include chemical plants, fertilizer, fishing, furniture and boat making, and pulp and paper mills. The University of West Florida is in Pensacola. The area is the site of the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Diego Maldonado, one of explorer Hernando de Soto's captains, reached Pensacola Bay, probably in 1540. In 1559, Spanish adventurer Tristan de Luna founded a settlement that lasted two years. Spain reoccupied Pensacola in 1698, when Spanish military leader Don Andres d'Arriola built a fort where the city now stands. Pensacola has a council-manager government. It is the seat of Escambia County.

Contributor: Peter O. Muller, Ph.D., Prof. and Chairman, Department of Geography, Univ. of Miami.
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