Some people might be mistaking growing old gracefully for the fountain of youth. It is written that in 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon stepped onto a beach in Florida. That is where the fable of The Fountain of Youth came alive.
Florida is the land of life-giving water, and geography features the largest concentration of springs in the world. When Ponce arrived, about 350,000 native people made Florida their home and they considered many of its springs to be sacred sites. A brave warrior Coacoochee once spoke of a dream in which his dead twin sister visited him from the land of souls, offering him a cup of pure water from the spring of the Great Spirit. ‘And if I should drink of it, I should return and live with her forever.’
In the 1900’s There was and maybe still is streets that continue to bear his name. It is written that there are stories told by natives of a miraculous fountain where waters would restore your youth. Florida took off with this and a statue of Juan Ponce de Leon was in Brevard County where some historians thought maybe this is the landfall in La Florida near Melbourne Beach where Ponce came with his ship.
Florida took off with this putting The Fountain of Youth in comic books, like House of Mystery showing and old woman who became young. The saying ‘See If you drink this magical water, you, too, can become young. A comic book The Adventures of Jerry Lewis: where Jerry is selling water with a sign saying Try our Fountain of You Water 5cents a glass and regain your youth. A police officer comes to arrest him and as he takes a drink of the water he turns back into a young child.
Different companies made advertisements using The Fountain of Youth as a selling point, like Tootsie Roll and Cap’n Crunch.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century the costal towns of St. Augustine and Key West attracted tourists looking for better health and wellbeing. Health Spas were developed along springs and rivers taunting it healing powers. At these spas this miraculous of water coming from the springs in Florida were said to cure everything from consumption and jaundice to rheumatism and syphilis. Large Hotels like the Hampton Hotel with the saying Hampton Spring Water, The National Health Resort were devoted to restore health.
The flow of water seems to have been adversely affected by nearby phosphate mining. By 1950 a newspaper article read ‘The Spring That People Killed.’ Some springs have vanished and others have diminished water quality.
So unfortunately, this is only a fable, The Fountain of Youth’ and we are back to growing old gracefully.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &