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EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA SITES:
BREVARD COUNTY SITES:
INDIALANTIC: on the beaches after storms, metal detector enthusiasts are finding Spanish coins. It is possible a galleon is offshore, as the 1715 Plate Fleet sank just to the south, and five are still missing! Working the beach with scuba and a metal detector could put you onto Spanish gold and silver cob coins!
VOLUSIA COUNTY SITES:
BLUE SPRINGS - is a 1st magnitude spring with over 104 million gallons of flow daily. It has a 100-ft. pool with a half mile run to the St. Johns River. This spring was visited by John Bartram in 1766, and may have been the site of a Spanish mission (Jaega) in the early 1500's, which would have been located beneath the current 1872 Thursby house on the State grounds. The state allows no diving in the spring (at this writing), but with your calls and letters to the governor perhaps things will change in the future.
DE LEON SPRINGS -- has been a well known swim spot for centuries! Now a State Recreation Area, the springs are semi- off limits for diving (write the Governor) unless you are an instructor with a group, but snorkeling can cover much of the 170 ft. pool. A Spanish mill (circa 1570) is claimed to have been on this site, but it is more likely the mill was rebuilt atop one of the early 1800's mills that were burned by Indians up and down the coastline. I have no doubt the Spanish visited this site, however, and it may have even been one of the Jaega Jesuit mission sites. Whatever the case, mastodon bones have been found in the spring and nearby creek, and much archaeological evidence of active Paleo-Indian occupation can be found, including their burial mounds. There is a restaurant on the property, where visitors can cook their own pancakes from flour ground at the mill. The spring is located 5 mi. N. of Deland off Hwy. 17, and is well marked by signs.
ADDISON BLOCK HOUSE -- (N29° 19.893 W81° 05.631) walls still stand from this 1836 blockhouse built during the 2nd Seminole Indian War. The blockhouse is on a small marsh island across from Tomoka State Park. A horseshoe bend in the Tomoka River is directly across from the blockhouse, and would probably be an excellent spot to find artifacts, as they would tend to collect there. There is a boat-ramp at Tomoka State Park that would provide access to the area. From the ramp, go S. on the Tomoka River, under the Old Dixie Hwy. Bridge, 3/4 mi. to the horseshoe bend.
ORMOND BEACH -- this was the beach used by Flagler's, Ford's, and many of the other '20s era tycoons guests for swimming. Teen and college kid deposits renew the beach with pounds of gold each year. Water hunting is the best for gold, beach hunting for coins. Some of the people you see out in the water with metal detectors and scoops have no other source of income other than this, and the beaches to the south!
DAYTONA BEACH -- pounds of gold here in the water and beach! Water hunting is the best, but the treasure hunters on the beach score big too. The water hunters have success all year, due to less competition, the land hunters main success is after the college crowd's spring break, and during the summer.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- ditto the above two beaches!
TURTLE MOUND -- the highest point on the coast at the time of Spanish Treasure Fleets, this was one of the major visual cues used to determine position for their turn to the ENE. A shipwreck is located on the beach 1/2 mi. N. of the mound. Digging has been done in the mound by archeologists and past treasure hunters looking for Spanish shipwreck treasure. Others who have searched the mounds may include pirates, Spaniards, English, French, and the Indians themselves. When ships wrecked on the Florida coast, passengers and crew would habitually start walking N. to St. Augustine, depositing their wealth along the way in caches as it got heavier and heavier. Many didn't make it through the Ais Indians, and much of their looted South American Indian gold ironically wound up in the hands of Florida Indians.
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ÓMatt Mattson, 1997, 1998, 1999, all rights reserved.
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