By Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources

Fort Crevecoeur, the strongest military outpost between Pensacola and St. Augustine at the time, was built in present-day Gulf County.

After establishing settlements in present-day Louisiana, the French sent an expedition to St. Joseph Bay in 1717. There, near the site of today's Port St. Joe, by the orders of the French Governor of Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the French constructed a fort in an effort to extend their influence into the region.

Named Fort Crevecoeur ("Broken Heart"), this fortification stood on the north shore of the bay opposite the point of St. Joseph Peninsula. Armed with artillery and garrisoned with a small force of French troops, Fort Crevecoeur was the strongest military outpost between Pensacola and St. Augustine. (The site today is located at the intersection of Columbus Street and Highway 98, Beacon Hill, Gulf County.)

The Spanish objected to the French presence there. After deciding that the outpost on St. Joseph Bay was not worth fighting over, the French abandoned Fort Crevecoeur in 1718 and concentrated their efforts in Louisiana.