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.
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.
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.
I even gave it a go. It obviously worked since the Google Arts & Culture app matched me with a portrait of a baby.
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.
Swimming, canoeing, fishing and hiking bring people to this area now.
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?