Pensacola Lighthouse announces new archaeological discovery

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum announced Oct. 14 that an archaeological discovery was made in Pensacola.  

The archaeological discovery uncovered the remains of a homestead where Charles Hart lived.

Hart was a formerly enslaved person from Santa Rosa County. Hart fled bondage to work in Pensacola’s Navy yard, according to a news release from the Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.

Hart worked at the lighthouse and founded the Good Hope AME church, according to the release. 

With the help of Marlene Thomas, the granddaughter of Charles Hart, researchers were able to confirm via court documents that the Hart homestead was an archaeological site.

The discovery of the site prompted the discoveries of four African American Lighthouse keepers and the anticipated construction of the Hart Homestead and Archaeological Park.

The interpretive site will highlight the challenges faced by African American families who sought claims to land and independent livelihoods during the Reconstruction period, according to the release. 

Construction on the Hart Homestead and Archaeological Park will begin in 2022, according to the release.

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