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Springs of Santa Rosa

Just across from Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center lies a high bank of Spring Creek, thought to be the Springs of Santa Rosa. According to Carmine Stahl, longtime naturalist at Jones Park:

The Spanish explorers called it the "Arroyo Santa Rosa," and wrote about a village of Akokisa Indians on the north side of the creek.

The early explorers also said these Indians had great skill at building and using big dugout cypress canoes. I believe we found that village site just across from Jones Park some years back. The Spaniards said the village was built on a high elevation, and had healing springs beside it. The place we found fits perfectly, and anthropologist Lou Fullen said it definitely was, "The place we've been looking for for a long time." The site's been registered with the state antiquities commission.

Akokisa Indians

The Akokisa Indians - who lived in this region - had a ritual that involved drinking mass quantities of tea made from yaupon leaves. This would make them vomit (the scientific name is Ilex vomitoria), and the men and women would drink tea, vomit, and dance all night long in a religious, cleansing ceremony.

Every year, Jesse Jones Park re-enacts an Akokisa Indian Village in the woods behind their RedBud Historic Village. It is an educational and fun day for the entire family.

Here is a link to the brochure from Jesse Jones Park's Akokisa Indian Village.

Also see Papa Stahl's Wild Stuff Cookbook for fascinating information, lore, and even recipes for wild edible plants.


Lizardtail thrives in moist soil near springs along Spring Creek.


A young spotted white-tail deer fawn hid in the vegetation.


A view of Spring Creek.


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