April marks the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Spanish settlement of Santa Elena on what is now the South Carolina coast and the Santa Elena Foundation is observing the occasion.
Santa Elena, founded in 1566 to protect Spanish shipping interests, was the first capital of Spanish colonial Florida. The site of the settlement was rediscovered in the 1970s beneath a golf course at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island.
A symposium scheduled for April 15 will focus on the significance of the settlement. Later in the month, a replica of a Spanish galleon of the era docks in Port Royal.
Following that is an exhibit about the settlement entitled “America’s Untold Story” opens April 30 at the Santa Elena History Center in downtown Beaufort.