Located in Islamorada are some Historic Indian Wells that were used for over a thousand years as one of the only sources of life-sustaining fresh water. The marker in front of it (seen here) reads: ‘These wells were surrounded by an Indian village over 1,000 years ago. The Spanish used the wells to replace their water supply before crossing to the mother country. This site was a salvage camp to recover treasure from the Spanish galleons lost in the 1733 hurricane. Some of those wrecked nearby are the Capitana, Chaves, La Florida, and Tres Puentes. The early settlers from the Bahamas used this source of water from the mid-1800’s to 1942 when water was pumped from the mainland by the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’.
The wells themselves sit about 15′ into the treeline and is probably best suited that you glance at them from there. Sad to say that this site (like other forgotten Historical sites) hasn’t been kept up to par and is more than slightly over grown. It also appears to be a prior haven for teenage party-goers or the homeless judging by the trash, beer cans & wine bottles abound. I wandered into the bush for a photo and then quickly retreated proclaiming success saying “There, I saw it!”. I’ve included that one photo I took showing a cement cap over one of the wells and boards over and around another.
You can find this not-quite Fountain of Youth at Mile Marker 83.8 on the right side of US-1 South just past the Historic Whale Harbor Restaurant. While your there, take one more minute of your life to walk 200′ down on the same side of the road and see the Island School’s Sleeping Giant Buttonwood Tree that I reported on earlier this year (as seen in the background below).