The Spanish erected the fort and presidio in 1698. This was the beginning of both a military occupation and the permanent settlement on the present day NAS Pensacola. The fort protected the fortified settlement against attack from the French, British and American Native Indians. The French burned the fort and took control in 1719. In 1722, the Spanish reoccupy Pensacola. The Spaniards built the “second Pensacola” on Santa Rosa Island. In 1754, a hurricane destroys Pensacola and the survivors depart Santa Rosa Island for the mainland.
For over 300 years this site was lost. Between 1995-1998, archaeologist from the University of West Florida rediscovered it and found that much of the settlement still survives below the ground.