Historic Markers Across Florida

Rumors of Riches

Marker ID:  
Location: at the Richloam Fire Tower trailhead in the Richloam Wildlife Management Area within the Withlacoochee State Forest, Webster, FL
County: Hernando
Coordinates: N 28° 30.021    W 082° 6.767
  28.50035    -82.11278333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WM100NV


Rumors of Riches
Florida De Soto Trail
—July 20, 1539 —

It’s July 20, 1539…
Here at the Indian village called Luca, Calvary Captain Baltasar de Gallegos reports back to Hernando de Soto –

My mission to meet with the great Chief Urriparacoxi was unsuccessful. The chief hid in the forest and never met with me. However, his men did tell stories of gold to the north.

”The first idea in the minds of these cavaliers was to conquer and seek gold and silver, and they paid no heed to anything that did not pertain to these metals. Thus they failed to accomplish other things of more importance as tracing out the limits of the land.”
Garcilaso del la Vega
La Florida of the Inca

The Native Path
Trails and roads were established between settlements to allow messengers to travel swiftly. It was important for chiefs to maintain contact with other villages for defense against warring groups and to send word of ceremonial events. These trails were commonly used to transport food and trade goods. Modern highways follow many of these ancient trade routes.

The Conquistador Trail
One reason Hernando de Soto explored La Florida was to find a suitable port and place to establish a colony for Holy Roman emperor King Charles V of Spain. This would offer Spanish ships, laden with gold and treasures taken in the Americas, a safe harbor before making their Atlantic crossing. De Soto not only failed to accomplish either task, he never made the attempt.

Florida De Soto Trail, Florida Department of Transportation,
the Florida Park Service, and the National Park Service.