Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued a proclamation Saturday to recognize Escambia County’s 200th Anniversary — one of the oldest counties in the state.
“I am proud to recognize Escambia County’s 200th Anniversary today,” Patronis said in a statement. “Florida is extremely fortunate to have rich culture and history and for generations, Escambia County has influenced and shaped our great state. It’s an honor to celebrate Florida’s oldest county and all of its accomplishments today.”
The proclamation details the county’s roots — on July 17, 1821, Spanish government officials exchanged flags in Pensacola during a ceremony in which Florida was officially appointed an American entity, the proclamation reads.
Escambia and St. Johns counties were Florida’s two original counties, covering the entire territory within modern state boundaries, the proclamation reads.
Escambia County is also the westernmost county in the state of Florida, sharing a border with Alabama. Back in the 1600s and 1700s, counties fought over Escambia’s deepwater port, as the only one on the Gulf Coast.
For the 200th anniversary, the West Florida Genealogical Society will create an online database of individuals who lived in Escambia County during its formative years, “for the public to become more in tune with its hometown roots,” the proclamation reads.
A commission of Pensacola historians, archaeologists and professors began planning a five-moth project to commemorate and recognize Florida’s eldest county leading up to the 200th Anniversary celebration, which will be held Saturday. The celebration will be held at the Museum Plaza in Pensacola.