Many tales and stories speak of Mother Nature leaving behind water, rocks and other elements that have the ability to cure sickness or provide youthful restoration. In this article, you will learn about a man believed to have been searching for the Fountain of Youth on his expeditions, which led to a suspected location in the United States.
With the help of Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, the story of the Fountain of Youth is alive and well in North America. Dating back to the 16th century, the first governor of Puerto Rico is tied in with the existence and search for the restorative waters of a fountain or other body of water. When he traveled to the region that is now known as Florida in 1513, some historians and writers believe he was searching for the Fountain of Youth. Because of this, the location of the fountain is associated with Florida.
Fountain of Youth in Florida
During the 16th century, the story of the Fountain of Youth has become a significant part of the biography of Juan Ponce de Leon. The conquistador was put in charge of discovering a land called Beniny, which was most likely the land of the Mayan in the Yucatan. Legend had it that there was a fountain of youth that later became associated with the Bahamas. Interestingly, when Ponce de Leon was traveling, he did not refer to any fountain in his writings. The association with the Fountain of Youth did not emerge until after the explorer had died and other writers would include the story in their historical accounts.
An author named Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo wrote in his 1535 publication titled Historia General y Natural de las Indias that Ponce de Leon was searching for the waters of Bimini as a way to cure his impotence. This spark that involved the conquistador may or may not have been motivated for political reasons, but people took notice. Other writers would follow the connection and link Ponce de Leon with a restorative river or body of water. Some doubted that he was looking for the fountain or stream when he traveled to Florida.
If you travel to the city of St. Augustine in Florida, you will find the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park. This attraction pays homage to the location where Ponce de Leon is supposed to have landed. The tourist hot spot was the brainchild of Luella Day McConnell, who in 1904 would create stories to tell residents and visitors until she passed away in 1927.
There is no proof that the fountain is located in the National Park, but despite all of this, tourists will still make trips to the park just to drink the water.