As historian T.D. Allman reminded us in his book entitled Finding Florida the real history of Florida was never taught to us. For the past 100 years, we have had myths passing off as legitimate histories. Making up Florida has been a wasted exercise, because the true history is much more interesting.
The Politicians in Punta Gorda took it on their own to create a memorial and park dedicated to Ponce de Leon at the Gilchrist Park. There is no evidence of Ponce ever landing there in 1512. Most archaeologists and historians believe, based on the written accounts, that he met the Calusa futher south near Sanibel Island and Estero Bay. But a city who has shown only dislike of the Calusa and Native-Americans were consistently insensitive by inventing the story and then memorializing the man who got his butt beaten by the Calusa. It would be one thing if he actually landed in Charlotte Harbor, but, he didn't. He spent very little time here. The Calusa who had the largest kingdom in North America for almost 25 centuries, got no memorial, no park, street, building to commemorate their global significance. In Florida not only is history often false, but also unfair. Rest in peace Ponce.