Vintage photos of one of Pensacola’s most popular parks
For more than a century, one of Pensacola’s premier public parks has delighted Pensacolians with its sprawling beauty along Bayou Texar.
When opened in the first decade of the 20th century, Bayview Park quickly became a haven for citizens eager to enjoy the city’s largest public space and waterfront. The Pulse recently uncovered and restored these vintage photos from the collections of the Pensacola Historical Society and the University of West Florida Historic Trust.
Listed for the first time in the 1907 Pensacola City Directory, Bayview Park is a local landmark with a rich history.
When first opened, many visitors came by streetcar and some even by boat.
As Americans’ love affair with the automobile grew, visitors also came by car to enjoy the 30-acre park.
Pensacola held its Independence Day celebration in Bayview Park in 1908.
The celebration was lauded as “the most successful and largely attended civic enterprise ever given in Pensacola.”
In 1910, the first men and women’s bath house was constructed.
Swimming lessons, first aid classes, social service classes and health talks were all part of programs offered at Bayview.
A 30 foot diving platform stood off the shore of the park in Bayou Texar.
When opened in the East Hill neighborhood, the park was largely surrounded by wooded forests of pine trees.
Bayview has been historically known as Pensacola’s watering hole.
Boating, swimming, skiing and other water sports activities were popular on the bayou.
Other activities were popular at the park, including baseball…
…and even the sport of “Singlestick.”
In 1914, 8 seals were brought from Mexico and kept in a pool next to Bayou Texar where the public could watch them from a pavilion.
Throughout its history Bayview Park has evolved over time and continues to be enjoyed by future generations of Pensacolians.