By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 22, 2022) – In Issue 2022-036 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we celebrate the home of the Fountain of Youth.

Sunshine State

Today’s Florida was first inhabited by humans about 14,000 years ago.  The Spanish came in 1513 and established St. Augustine in 1565, the oldest town in the US.

Eventually the US acquired the land in 1819 on this day as part of the Adams-Onis treaty between Spain and the US.  The US paid $5 million.  It may not have looked like a great acquisition for a while given that much of Florida was swamp land then, especially the lower half of the peninsula.

Today, it is one of the fastest growing states in the US.  Even Mickey have had a home there for the past 50 years.

Here is Johnson’s 1864 map of Florida – predating Orlando and St. Petersburg.

Alvin Johnson’s map of Florida from 1864 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.