Historic Markers Across Florida

Espiritu Santo Springs

Marker ID: FLHM F-381
Location: On N Bayshore Dr near Phillippe Parkway, Safety Harbor, FL
County: Pinellas
Coordinates: N 27° 59.454    W 082° 41.269
  27.9909    -82.68781666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5G8N


On May 18, 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the shores of what is now Tampa Bay, landing near these mineral springs used by the native population for nearly 10,000 years. Believing he had found the legendary Fountain of Youth somehow missed by Ponce de Leon, de Soto established a camp here, naming the crystal clear waters Espiritu Santa Springs - "Springs of the Holy Spirit."
Each of the five springs located on this site was identified and said to cure certain ailments, a claim drawing thousands of visits yearly to the "Health Giving City" of Safety Harbor.
The Safety Harbor Sanitorium [sanatorium] opened its doors here in 1926, offering porcelain bath tubs and a large swimming pool for "taking the waters". In 1945 the springs and sanitorium were sold to Dr. Salem H. Baranoff, who opened the facility as a health spa.
Today the springs continue to attract health-conscious travelers.

The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Florida Department of State - 1998


City: Safety Harbor, FL