Historic Markers Across Florida

Hyer-Knowles Planing Mill

Marker ID: FLHM F-412
Location: at the intersection of Scenic Highway (U.S. 90) and Langley Avenue, Pensacola, FL
County: Escambia
Coordinates: N 30° 28.831    W 087° 9.754
  30.48051666    -87.16256666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Chimney is the only trace of what once was the first major industrial belt on the Gulf Coast, a string of antebellum wood mills and brick factories. The chimney represents the lumber industry of the Florida Panhandle. As the lumber industry prospered in the 1850s, local mills employed 600 people and produced almost 55 million feet of lumber. The bricks in the base of the chimney bear the mark of “J. Gonzalez", showing that they were produced at the local brick plant of James Gonzalez. The chimney was part of the steam power plant for the Hyers-Knowles Mill. In March 1862, General Braxton Bragg was evacuating the Confederate forces holding Pensacola when Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin gave the order to "Destroy all machinery private and public, which could be useful to the enemy; especially disable the sawmills in and around the Bay." The machinery from the mills was loaded onto barges which were moved into Escambia Bay. On March 10th a thunderstorm and large waves sank the barges. That same night the Hyer-Knowles Mill was burned, and all that is left is the chimney.

Erected 1999 by the City of Pensacola & the Florida Department of State