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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ruskin in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

De Soto Trail

Staking Their Claim

 

1539-1540

 
De Soto Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
1. De Soto Trail Marker
Left panel
Inscription.
( Left panel )

You are standing along the historic route of the conquistador Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Florida Native American territories in his quest for gold and glory
[ Map ]
"The Florida Expedition"
Legend:
You are here E. G. Simmons Park (Native American Village of Uzita)
Sea Routes
Foot/Horse Trail
Scout Party Trail

( Right panel )

It's June 1, 1539...
Hernando de Soto and his men have established a fortified base camp in this area -

We are occupying an abandoned Indian village. To defend the site, we constructed a wooden palisade around the perimeter. I dispatched cavalry to search the area for Indians to use as guides and interpreters. After several minor skirmishes, the men returned with prisoners. They tell us this village is know as Ucita.

"The land round about was greatly encumbered and choked with a vast lofty forest. The Governor [De Soto] ordered it to the cut down for the space of a crossbow shot about the town, in order that the horses might run and the Christians have the advantage of the Indians if the latter should by chance try to attack by night."
De Soto Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
2. De Soto Trail Marker
Right panel
- Account by Rodrigo Rangel
The De Soto Chronicles

The Native Path
The coastal people of Florida lived in village societies governed by a hereditary chief, or cacique. Archaeological evidence shows these people traded seafood, shells, and game with tribes to the north for goods like corn, pottery, and stone arrow points.

The Conquistador Trail
The territory known as La Florida was larger than present-day Florida. According to 16th-century Spanish maps, La Florida encompassed all of the American Southeast, as far north as Virginia and as far west as Texas.
[ Images ]
"Calusa" (painting), by Dean Quigley - Coastal Florida Indian village in the 16th century
Native American silver hair decoration
Replica of a Spanish navigational map from 1584 of the territory of La Florida, sometimes referred to as the De Soto map
Spanish coins found at the De Soto winter encampment site in Tallahassee, Florida
www.floridadesototrail.com
The Florida De Soto Trail is a cooperative project between
the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Park Service, and the National Park Service.

 
Erected by the Florida Department of Transportation,
De Soto Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
3. De Soto Trail Marker
the Florida Park Service, and the National Park Service.
 
Location. 27° 44.824′ N, 82° 28.332′ W. Marker is in Ruskin, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on E.G. Simmons Park Drive 3.2 miles west of South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41). Click for map. The marker is located adjacent to the beach parking lot on the grounds of E. G. Simmons Park, a Hillsborough County public park overlooking Tampa Bay. (Note: marker access depends on park operating hours). Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 19th Avenue NW, Ruskin FL 33570, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ruskin College President's Home (approx. 3.2 miles away); Tampa as Port of Embarkation for Spanish American War (approx. 8.9 miles away); Peter Demens (approx. 9.7 miles away); The World's First Scheduled Airline (approx. 9.7 miles away); World's First Regularly Scheduled Commercial Airline (approx. 9.7 miles away); World Record (approx. 9.8 miles away); St. Petersburg Central Yacht Basin (approx. 9.8 miles away); Demens Landing (approx. 9.9 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker's two, full-color panels are displayed side-by-side within a small, wooden-framed kiosk adorned with a red, metal roof.

Note:
Shores of Tampa Bay at E. G. Simmons Park image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
4. Shores of Tampa Bay at E. G. Simmons Park
At the time of this page's submission, the referenced website, "www.floridadesototrail.com", was not in service.
 
Regarding De Soto Trail. The exact location of the De Soto expedition's landing and the site of Uzita is actually a subject of some debate among historians. Some hold that De Soto began his exploration of Florida many miles to the south by sailing into Charlotte Harbor and camping near what is today the city of Port Charlotte.
 
Additional keywords. DeSoto
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative Americans
 
E. G. Simmons Park entrance image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
5. E. G. Simmons Park entrance
The 458 acre county park includes 200 acres of wildlife sanctuary, and features a beach, camping sites, picnic pavilions, a playground, beach volleyball court, canoe and kayak rentals, etc.
Park view west acrossTampa Bay to the city of St. Petersburg image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
6. Park view west acrossTampa Bay to the city of St. Petersburg
St. Pete is seen 9.5 miles in the distance. To the left, the bright white Tropicana Dome is home to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.
Park view north across the bay to the city of Tampa image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 20, 2011
7. Park view north across the bay to the city of Tampa
Downtown Tampa appears on the horizon, roughly 13 miles distant.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 737 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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