City of Hawkinsville Preserve – Suwannee River, Florida
If you spend any time at all roaming along Florida’s famed Suwannee River, it does not take long to begin hearing stories of the City of Hawkinsville. The boat’s wreck lies in the middle of the river just above the U.S. 90 Bridge in Dixie County.
Some say the City of Hawkinsville was a Union gunboat that invaded the Suwannee River only to be sunk by Confederate fire from old Fort Fanning at Fanning Springs. Other say that she was a Confederate blockade runner, destroyed by her own captain to keep her from being captured by the U.S. Navy.
The latter story appears to confuse the boat with another wreck downstream, but the gunboat tale is nothing more than legend.
In fact, the City of Hawkinsville was a paddlewheel steamboat abandoned by her captain in 1922 during the dying days of the riverboat era in Florida. Built in 1886, the 141- foot long, 30-foot wide sternwheeler had served a remarkably long career (38 years) for a steamboat. Few could boast of service anywhere near that long and the earliest ones to ply Florida’s rivers and creeks rarely lasted longer than four or five years.
Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted 2012-09-23 11:18:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter