Sunday, April 24, 2011

Somebody Noticed!

I came across this op-ed which mentions The Company of Juan Ponce de León, and the event we held in St. Augustine at the beginning of April.

Sure, there are some good events in Florida. On April 2-3, at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, the living history group La Compañía de Juan Ponce de León, a group created to portray “The Company of Juan Ponce de León,” presented a re-enactment of a 16th-century Spanish encampment, and there were lectures by distinguished scholars and special activities for the children.

Friday, April 22, 2011


On the Commemoration front, it looks like the commissioners for the City of St. Augustine's 450th Anniversary has been named.

And the French want in too!

France had big contribution to St. Augustine's history

In the meantime progress of sorts is noticeable on the Ponce de Leon 500th front.

Strategic meeting for the V Centenary

It looks like Brevard County has rather ambitious plans for PdL commemoration 2013, though lacking in a lot of specifics.

Viva Florida - Events Search
Gala Celebration of the Landing of Don Juan Ponce de Leon in Melbourne Beach ... Unveiling of the Statue of Juan Ponce de Leon to Commemorate the Landing at ...

All 2013 dates - details evidently TBA


An Exhibition of Tall Ships to Celebrate the Landing of Juan Ponce de Leon at Melbourne Beach

Unveiling of the Statue of Juan Ponce de Leon to Commemorate the Landing at Melbourne Beach

Re-enactment of the Landing of Juan Ponce de Leon at Melbourne Beac

U.S. Airforce Fly Over at the Landing of Juan Ponce de Leon at Melbourne Beach

Religious Service to Celebrate the Landing of Juan Ponce de Leon at Melbourne Beach


And most recently a proposal:

Naming Barrier Island for Ponce De Leon Would Honor State Find

Though looking at the comments section attached to the news story its not looking too promising.

De Soto's Trail Kiosk

It's been a very busy past few weeks and I'm trying to get caught up with the blog. First up is a news report on the latest installation of a kiosk on the new version of the De Soto Trail project.

New Kiosk on Campus Marks De Soto's Trail
Santa Fe College
As part of the De Soto National Memorial project, Florida De Soto Trail, Santa Fe College was asked to host a kiosk commemorating part of Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army's journey as they traveled northward though Florida. ...

I had noticed that when I was at De Soto National Memorial for the timeline event in March that what I believe the last of the the original De Soto Trail waysides erected in the 1980's to commemorate the 450th Anniversary of the Soto entrada had been removed. The new kiosk had been installed by the landing event last weekend. I believe that as of this writing that the end point at the Martin Site in Tallahassee, and a couple of others as well in Hillsborough county are up as well. per the news story, " All 34 kiosks can be viewed on the website when it's launched later this year" Right now its a place holder.

When I traveled to Arkansas 11 years ago for the De Soto 2000 event I drove along Florida's De Soto Trail adding hours to that trip) and stopped at the waysides that were still left. Even at point a scant 15 years after installation many of them had been vandalized and several were simply missing, apparently taken out by road widening projects and never reset. I even did a website on it, since vanished when I switched ISP's. But below are some photos culled from it:

A typical example of one of the 1980's waysides. The new ones are to be located within existing parks and other government facilitates in the hope that they new kiosks will have a longer lifespan.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

De Soto Landing Reenactment

2nd post today. Can you tell schools out today and I'm at home with my daughter?

De Soto National Memorial held its annual Landing Reenactment and last day day of the Park's Living History Camp last Saturday. The event has grown quite a bit since Calderon's Company began doing the landing 10 years ago. At the time Bill Burger had acquired at wooded boat being used as a yard decoration. With extensive repairs it became serviceable, enough that we rowed across the Manatee River from De Soto NM to Snead's Island about 1/2 mile in 2002.

Last year a new boat that De Soto National Memorial had commissioned joined the fleet. This year the Park added a small swivel gun to their boat, so we had two boats ans two cannon.
Elizabeth Neily has been kind enough to post some video of the 2011 landing reenactment on you tube.

Four members of FLH's Company of Ponce de Leon traveled across the State to join us.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Real or Reenactment?

Parade Magazine in this morning's paper, shilling for Robert Redford's latest film, has an online quiz for identifying photos as Real or Reenactment?

Though both my wife and I have been around the reenactment community for years, neither of us has ever done American Civil War. Still we managed to get 19 out of 20 correct. It's certainly a sobering when you realize that what appear to be very good very good impressions of the Civil War can be distinguished in a few seconds by amateurs. God only knows what our 16th C. Spanish counterparts would think of how we look.

In other news: it looks like the federal government won't be shut down and the De Soto Landing reenactment can go on as scheduled.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Photos from last Saturday's Ponce de Leon event

A couple of quick items on Ponce de Leon re-enactment. First some more photos from last Saturday's Ponce de Leon event at St. Augustine's Fountain of Youth.

Re-enactment Juan Ponce de Leon Landing St. Augustine, Florida ...
Visit where you can view photos taken by staff from The St. Augustine Record and share your own photos.
Second, I just came across some planning for Ponce commemoration in 2013. It's greatly lacking in details, with much TBA but it is nice to see somebody planning ahead.
Viva Florida - Events Search
Gala Celebration of the Landing of Don Juan Ponce de Leon in Melbourne Beach ... Unveiling of the Statue of Juan Ponce de Leon to Commemorate the Landing at ...

Monday, April 4, 2011

De Soto Landing

De Soto Landing
Dates: 04/16/2011
Times: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: De Soto National Memorial
Summary: The 62nd annual re-enactment of De Soto's Landing in Tampa Bay.
Fees: Free

Conquistador Landed in Tampa Bay May 30th 1539 to begin a four year journey that took him and an army of over 700 through the American Southeast. Annually since 1948 Re-enactments of De Soto's landing have been held at De Soto National Memorial. Join us as Park staff come ashore in historic dress and our De Soto claims La Florida for Spain. Then join us for a day full of activities and demonstrations about the Spanish and the Native American people who's lives would be forever altered by this expedition.

Contact: De Soto National Memorial
Phone: 941-792-0458

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Re-Enacting Juan Ponce De Leon's Discovery

Okay this is shameless, but hey I'm somebody:

Re-Enacting Juan Ponce De Leon's Discovery
St. Augustine Record
By DARON DEAN, La Compania de Juan Ponce de Leon re-enactor Timothy Burke demonstrates chainmail armor for Steve Marteeny and his ...