Florida has old stuff too: De Leon Springs

Florida Like a Local Travel

After writing my last blog post: Florida has old stuff too, I realized I’ve yet to share many of the historical places I’ve explored throughout the sunshine state, so here it goes, my ‘Florida has old stuff’ series begins.

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Welcome to De Leon Springs State Park. Believed to be the where Ponce de Leon discovered the Fountain of Youth, but in reality was just a marketing ploy to bring tourists to the area. The name was even changed from Spring Garden to De Leon Springs to add to the hype.

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By the late 1800’s tourists were traveling to the springs by railroad and steamboat believing in the anti-aging and healing properties of the waters.

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I even gave it a go. It obviously worked since the Google Arts & Culture app matched me with a portrait of a baby.

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De Leon Springs was also home to the first water-powered sugar mill. This structure is now the popular Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House which features a cook-your-own pancake griddle at each table. The restaurant is located in a replica of the original 1830’s mill which was destroyed by the Seminoles in 1835.

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Swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking bring people to this area now.

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Now it’s your turn to test out the healing and anti-aging properties of these waters. Will you too soon resemble a baby from the 17th century?

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