Ponce De Leon landed on the strange land of what later would be known as Saint Augustine, Florida on April 3rd, 1513. When he gets off of his ship, he meets these tall, tan, healthy looking individuals. The Timucua native Americans. Ponce De Leon was quizzical about how their elders were able to grow so old and still look healthy. He saw that they were drinking water that came out of the ground, he called this water deposit “la fuenta”- the Fountain.
Ponce De Leon never in his journals mention a magical fountain that could restore health and make people last forever. So where in the world did the legend of the Fountain of Youth come from? Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo wrote about Ponce De Leon’s travels in 1535 and talked about the magical fountain water which he placed in Biminy. The legend grew from there with other authors spinning the tale of Ponce De Leon’s travels. Why did Oviedo say Ponce De Leon was looking for magical waters? Many think he did it to generate favor in the courts.
Oviedo still wasn’t the man to place the Magical Fountain in what would later be Saint Augustine, Florida. Again, Oviedo claimed De Leon was looking for the fountain on the island of Biminy. It was a man named Fernando Fonteneda in 1575 that placed the magical fountain water in Saint Augustine, Florida. He wrote an epic tale about the restorative waters.
Even knowing all the history and research there is on the legend of the Fountain of Youth- many people still believe in the waters magic. People have claimed it has kept them young, sprite, and healthy. Others has claimed it has healing properties. My question to you is- do you believe in the legend of the Fountain of Youth?