The year was 1836 and Jose Massalina, a Spanish merchant marine jumped ship at Port St. Joe, made his way to Panama City, and set up shop as a boat builder on what was simply known at the time as The Bayou.
He eventually settled just across the bay at Redfish point and with the help of 40 other black families he built a school, a church, and plenty of homes for everybody.
Speaking of everybody Jose had eight kids. The oldest was Narsisco Massalina, better known as Hawk cause He could spot a fish from a mile away.
Jose and his family were all-around great folks and to honor their contributions, sometime around 1886 The Bayou was officially named Massalina Bayou.
Today the Bayou is home to Tarpon Dock Seafood Market, a ton of sailboats, and what may be the last working drawbridge in Northwest Florida.
Yup, when Jose jumped ship he didn’t just find a great place live out his 112 years. He also found a place to leave his mark. And the rest is history. Our history.