Historic Markers Across Florida

30° 8' North Latitude

Marker ID: FLHM F-749
Location: in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve north parking area.
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 30° 06.989    W 081° 20.752
  30.11648333    -81.34586666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMKB4D


This site is believed by some historians to correspond with the offshore location where Juan Ponce de Leon calculated his fleet's position when he first sighted Florida. Ponce's fleet of three vessels set sail from Puerto Rico in early March 1513. On Sunday, March 27, the day of the Festival of the Resurrection, they sighted what they thought was an island. After sailing northwest along the coast, the fleet moved close to shore, and at noon on April 2 a sighting of the sun was taken, probably with either a quadrant or mariner's astrolabe. In his work, Historia General de los Hechos de Los Castellanos en las Islas Y Tierra Firme del Mar Ocean, published in 1601, Spanish historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas recorded that the location was 30° 8' [north latitude]. Herrera's appointment by Phillip II of Spain as the major chronicler of the Indies gave him access to authentic sources, including documents made during Ponce's voyage that would not have been available to other writers. This site had been preserved in its natural condition by the State of Florida and is likely what Pnce de Leon would have seen as he approached Florida for the first time in 1513.

Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve and the Florida Department of State