A group from the Royal Order of Conquistadors, including Gil Bailargeon, from left, Ray Dion, Lindsay Harrington and Jerry York, poses at Ponce de Leon Park, near the place where local historians believe the Spanish explorer attempted to establish America's first European colony in 1521.
SUN PHOTO BY GREG MARTIN
Lindsay Harrington of the Royal Order of the Ponce de Leon Conquistadors carries the flag of Spain in honor of the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon's landing in Florida.
By GREG MARTIN
PUNTA GORDA — Five hundred years ago, North America was a vast wilderness populated by Native Americans.
Then came Juan Ponce de Leon.
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