Fountain of Youth
You’ll see many beautiful things on a stroll at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, and this is one of them: stunning, metallic, bright-feathered peacocks perching on benches, decorative fountains, railings, and whatever else they can find. (Notice the bird at far right is shy; he won’t even show his head). And to think I’d just paused for a routine stop at the restroom! Not only are the birds a wonderful sight, but the palms in the background add to the tropical scene. If you’re lucky you might see the males open and spread their feathers to attract the attention of any nearby females. And their cry! You’d have to hear it to really appreciate it.
Here’s an interesting fact about the Mission Nombre de Dios grounds that most people probably don’t know: it’s also a cemetery of sorts, with tombstones of various dates scattered here and there. This cluster is for the Mickler family. In the foreground is Civil War veteran Cpt. John H. Mickler of Co. F, 11TH South Carolina Infantry, born 1831 and died 24 Jul 1885. (The stone directly behind it is an older marker to Cpt. Mickler).
In the back center is a stone for “Little Lillian Mickler.” Find-A-Grave says she was “aged 1 yr 7 mos” and was the “daughter of Robert & Lillian.” The stone at far right is for Margaret Mickler, born 1839 and died 31 May 1886. Ancestry.com research reveals that Margaret was probably the daughter of Jacob Mickler III and Manuela Hilary de Mier. She married John Henry Mickler and had two children, John Henry born 1865, and Camilla born 1868. There is also a Margaret “Maggie” Mickler who was the daughter of William and Mahala Mickler, which may make more sense since she would be Cpt. John Mickler’s sister.
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