In a previous post I discussed probably the best known "Fountain of Youth" located in St Augustine, Fl., and how it was created by an entertaining woman nicknamed Diamond Lil several years after St Petersburg already had established the original Fountain of Youth.
Of course other sites in Florida claim their own Fountain of Youth... but St Pete is home of the Original FoY.
South of St Pete, the town of Punta Gorda has a radioactive Fountain of Youth. There's an official Florida Department of Health notice warning against drinking the sulfur waters as it exceeds the allowable amount of radioactivity in drinking water. Still, folks continue to drink it.
Warm Mineral Springs, Fl also lays claim to a FoY. Popular with tourists since the 1950's (especially Europeans) this site looks like a pond with warm sulfur waters bubbling up from the bottom. Unfortunately, it is now closed to the public after some squabbling and wacky "only-in-Florida" politics. So I'm gonna say Punta Gorda has the only known radioactive FoY and Warm Mineral Springs FoY is closed ... St Pete has the original Fountain of Youth.
In 1901 right here in St Pete, Edwin Tomlinson built a pier just north of where the Dali stands today. Originally it was built to allow his father to fish Tampa Bay. He tapped into an artesian well at the approach of the pier.
Townies and visitors alike would fill up jugs of drinking water. Tomlinson was a charitable man and didn't charge for people to partake from the well.
In 1908 Dr. Jesse Conrad purchased the pier, put up a sign made from sticks declaring the way "To the Fountain of Youth". He began selling the water to all comers.
So not only was St Pete home of the Original Fountain of Youth, you could also say it was physician endorsed!
Today there remains a "tribute" of sorts to the Original FoY between the Mahaffey Theatre and the Rowdies Stadium. The healing waters have been replaced by ordinary city tap water, but it's a great reminder of St Pete's past and as a center of the "Health City".
Rev B has nearly been published multiple times and has received letters of rejection from Highlights, Jet Magazine, Dear Abby and The New Yorker. While accepting full responsibility for all grammatical errors he makes no claims of being an author. Please enjoy the entries found here and use the search function if you're looking for something more specific.