I Found the Fountain of Youth!

foy-entrance-verticalWe all want to find the Fountain of Youth, right? I found it in St Augustine, Florida, and learned a bit of history about it that was quite interesting, as well as unexpected. fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

As children we are told that Juan Ponce de Leon came to the New World in search of the Fountain of Youth, a fabled location where a drink from the magical fountain would reverse the aging process and cure all ills. Sounds a bit like the Holy Grail, right? Well, not quite.

Ponce de Leon came to St Augustine in 1513 on a voyage of exploration. He had gained experience as a soldier in the Spanish Wars against the Moors under Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand (of Inquisition fame). He was actually named Governor of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) and explored farther west, finding and naming La Florida (named for  Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers). There was no mention of a fountain, he was actually searching for gold.

The story I was told at the Fountain of Youth Archaelogical Park was this: the Spaniards were typical Europeans, being short, toothless, and with a life span of 45 years. The Timucuans, the tribe inhabiting the St Augustine area of Florida, were over 6 feet tall, and reached ages of 70 and 80 years! Why did these people live so long and grow so tall? Well, it was the water, of course!

The Archaelogical Park in St Augustine tells the stories of the both the Spainiards and the now extinct Timucaun. The Timucaun, of course, died of the diseases brought by the Europeans, as did so many millions of Native Americans, sadly.

In the park, there are beautiful birds, fountains, and scenery. It is well worth a visit!

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

The water from the Fountain of Youth was worth a try, right? Actually, it did not taste too good.

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Drink it by the jug!

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Saturiwa

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Juan!

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Timucuan way of life.

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Timucuan natives were friendly…which did not serve them well in the long run.

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

Gorgeous!

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

A beautiful peahen.

fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam fountain of youth, st augustine, travels with tam

 

 

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (11)

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  1. As a former Floridian, I know this story well! St. Augustine is super-historical.

  2. Roz Warren says:

    Fun post. And I always love your photos.

  3. I LOVE your photos! Not so sure about finding my youth, but these pictures make me feel great.

  4. Thank you for the history lesson! You look amazing! (Actually you did before…)

  5. Rosemond says:

    I’d be up for trying the fountain of youth! Studied this in middle school and have never been to that part of Florida, would love to go there it looks beautiful.

  6. Miranda says:

    Knowing that Fountain Youth how it preserves naturally was such an honor for us. Interesting post.

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