Monday, August 12, 2013

key west history, part 1

 About 2,500 years ago, the Calusa Indians came to Key West from the SouthWest coast of Florida and called it home. They were, by all accounts, the first Conchs. They came and settled in to the easy Keys life and feasted on seafood.

But then something happened.
 In 1513 and again in 1521, Juan Ponce de Leon (remember him from your grammar school history books?) came ashore from Spain searching for his famous “Fountain of Youth”.
He discovered the islands and named them “Santa Isybella,” after Queen Isabella.
 Then, in Key West, he found the the Calusa Indians who weren't too thrilled about being invaded by the Spanish.
Ponce and his crew battled with the Calusa Indians for years.

The Calusa were eventually forced to move further and further inland by the Spanish. In time, exposure to the European diseases brought by the Spanish and all those devastating battles over the islands brought a tragic end to the
Calusa nation.
During one of those many battles, Ponce de Leon was wounded in the thigh by a poisoned arrow.
He retreated to Cuba where he soon died of that wound.  
(what goes around, comes around)

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