On Wednesday, October 2, the monthly meetings of the St. Augustine Archaeological Association (SAAA) will take place.

A talk will be given by Dr. Roger Smith, titled The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park: Where Legend Meets History.

The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park has been a favorite site for tourists in St. Augustine, Florida, since April 1868 – the earliest-known documented dating of a patron visiting the park for a sip of it’s water. But it is also arguably the most historic 15 acres in the nation’s oldest city.

It is the archaeologically-proven location where Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine in 1565; the location of one of the oldest Native American villages in northeast Florida; the location of one of the first Catholic mission in the United States; the cornerstone mission-site for the Spanish chain of missions that dwarf in number the missions of California and the Southwest. And yes, arguments continue to support the presence of Ponce de Leon in 1513. But this is only the beginning! The history of this property since these ancient times is as rich and deep as any other in the United States. This may well be the most under-appreciated historical site in the world.

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Early American History and Atlantic World Studies from the University of Florida in 2011. His work on the American Revolution in the South received the Aschoff Fellowship Dissertation Award and the Jack and Celia Proctor Award in Southern History.

Dr. Smith is now an adjunct professor of American history at Flagler College, but also represents Colonial Research Associates and speaks nationally on his Revolutionary War research.

He has provided consultation for the AMC television series Turn and can be seen on the PBS documentary “Secrets of the Dead: The Secrets of Spanish Florida.” He has worked on projects with the Florida Humanities Council, the University of West Florida, the University of Florida, and the Florida Council for History Education.

His books received a national award from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution for his work in traditional classroom education.

The event is free and opened to the public. The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM in the Flagler Room at Flagler College campus, 74 King Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084.