The Apalachee Indians, who lived in the area around present-day Tallahassee, were among the most advanced and powerful of the Florida tribes that were met by early explorers.
Spain’s Juan Ponce de León came to Florida in 1513. He named the land “La Florida”, meaning flowery, and claimed ownership for Spain.
Hernando de Soto arrived in 1539 to seek his fortunes in La Florida. Native peoples in the region told the Spaniards that riches could be found in the Apalachee Province. The de Soto expedition was the first from Europe to camp in this area.
The myth of Apalachee treasure was represented on early European maps by the name given to the Appalachian Mountains.
The largest Apalachee building was the council house that could hold 2,000 to 3,000 people. In the council house, the Apalachee and their chiefs met to govern the village, consider complaints, administer justice, conduct traditional rituals, and receive visitors.
The entrance door was built low so a person entering had to stoop, thus easy to see if they had weapons, plus they were bowing to the King. I entered first so Barbara could show her respects.
In 1656 the Mission of San Luis was established here. The friars converted over 5,000 Apalachee’s to christianity.
In 1690 the Spaniards built a fort to protect their interests in the area from the British. England was expanding it’s hold on Spanish Florida and made advances toward the Mission and fort. On July 31, 1704, two days before the British and Creek indians would arrive in the area, the defenders realized they would be outnumbered and burned the mission and fort to the ground, moving to St. Augustine. I think we will also migrate there.
Panama City, Florida to Tallahassee, Florida 137.5 miles