💙🌴Here I am standing before the #ulele spring!
Ulele (pronounced "you-lay-lee") is located in Tampa Heights on the Tampa Riverwalk in the old Water Works building. The building was the original pump house in 1903 and served the city of Tampa water from the Ulele Spring on the property. Now the Water Works building is a wonderful restaurant that anchors the #tampariverwalk.
The spring is named after #PrincessUlele, reputed to be a Native American princess who lived in the 1500s. The Tocobaga tribe of the Tampa Bay area captured three Spaniards and sought to exact revenge for the brutal actions of explorers who had landed 11 years earlier. As the legend goes, the chief's daughter, Ulele, took pity on Ortiz and threw herself onto his body until her father agreed to spare his life.
Historians are mindful of the similarities between this tale and another famous clash of New World with old — John Smith and Pocahontas, seven decades later. Some think the British explorer Smith studied dispatches from North America including, perhaps, the story of Ulele and Ortiz, before heading to Jamestown, Va. To embellish accounts of his own adventures, Smith may have added in elements of the Florida story.
Ulele Spring is the only natural spring within the urban portion of the City. The spring didn't work as it should for nearly a century but now, after a major overhaul, freshwater flows of 672,000 gallons per day flow from the spring to the Hillsborough River. This spring water flow enhances vegetation and creates prime habitat for a variety of fish, crustaceans and mammals. To date over 18 species of fish and crustaceans have been documented within the newly restored spring run; in addition, manatees now frequently visit this spring along with their offspring.💕