Historic Markers Across Florida

Possible Vicinity Of Juan Ponce de Leon S Landing

Marker ID: FLHM F-565
Location: on highway 1A south of Melbourne Beach, FL.
County: Brevard
Coordinates: N 28° 00.616    W 080° 31.815
  28.01026666    -80.53025
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM1JKT


While there is disagreement among scholars, it is believed that this site may be in an area where Juan Ponce de Leon made landfall in April 1513. It has long been thought that this event took place near St. Augustine, based upon studies of de Leons compass headings that did not account for the inability of 16th century navigators to accurately determine longitude, magnetic compass deviations, or the effects of the Gulf Stream and prevailing winds. Professional navigator Douglas Peck re-traced Juan Ponce de Leons route in a sailboat, however, and found a more likely landing site. Peck, who sailed the same waters for 30 years, has an intimate geographical knowledge of the route Juan Ponce de Leon took. When he re-sailed the route at the same time of year as the 1513 voyage, he reached Floridas eastern shore at 28 degrees North Latitude and 80 degrees 29 minutes West Longitude, just south of Melbourne Beach. He can place the accuracy to within 5 to 8 Nautical Miles on either side of this navigational fix. Many historians now conclude that an area south of Melbourne Beach, such as this site, was a more probable location for Juan Ponce de Leons first landing. This Brevard County Park, Juan Ponce de Leon Landing, was created in 2005

Sponsors: The Brevard County Historical Commission, Brevard County Parks & Recreation, and the Florida Department of State 2005


City: Melbourne Beach, FL