St Augustine History Notes

Real Estate Agent with Watson Realty Corp

I recently had to change my lifelong version of Ponce de Leon and his search for the Fountain of Youth, which supposedly brought him to St Augustines' shores in 1513, prior to its official founding in 1565. George Gardner, who regularly writes a wonderfully informative email/newsletter, The St Augustine Report, brought to light the most probable explanation of this "myth", through his research from "The Exploration of Florida and Sources on the Founding of St. Augustine", by Luis Rafael Arrana. It would seem that the exploirer was headed to Bimini to search for more useful treasure, ended up sending his co-adventurer, Juan Perez Ortubia who did find Bimini and apparently started the harmless rumor about Ponces' quest for this magical water as a sort of joke. This rumor became almost fact by 1535 when another Spanish historian picked up the story about Ponces' fantasy and his waste of time pursuing the elusive fountain. My apologies to the many people and friends I have misled over the years. Too bad - it was a good story! What a perfect example, however, of how a rumor can grow in size and eventuallly become "fact"! George - thank you - your newsletter is not always informative but a good read! Get on his email list


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Murrell Weissinger

The St Augustine Native with a world of experience