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City of Hawkinsville

City of Hawkinsville

Photo courtesy of the
Florida Division of Historical Resources.

    A surprisingly intact survivor of late 19th-century steam technology, City of Hawkinsville was the largest and last steamboat to ply the Suwannee River. Originally built in Georgia in 1896, she was sold in 1900 to a Tampa company to serve a steamboat route that included Branford, Clay’s Landing, Old Town, and Cedar Keys. Hawkinsville was 141 feet long and spent most of her life carrying lumber, cedar for pencils, and, at the end of her career, construction materials for the railroad that quickly made steamboats obsolete. Abandoned in 1922 in shallow water on the western (Dixie County) bank of the Suwannee, about 100 yards south of the railroad trestle at Old Town, she is well-preserved in fresh water. Her two steam engines and pumps, boiler room, and stern paddlewheel are easy to recognize. Established in 1992 as Florida's third Underwater Archaeological Preserve, the steamboat is accessible only by boat. Visitors should tie to one of the two mooring buoys approximately 50 feet downstream to avoid anchor damage to the site.

Find out more:

General Information:
Check with local dive shops for location details.

Additional Links:

Florida Department of State
Dixie County Directory

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