“In 1882, four years before he bought the land, Ralph Munroe visited this hole in the ground. Even then it was shrouded in mystery. A popular tale of the time claimed it was dug by Ponce de Leon in his search for the Fountain of Youth.
We know that Ponce de Leon never entered Biscayne Bay, and he certainly did not dig this hole. Who did, and why, remains a mystery to this day.
Int eh 1840s it is believed this land was occupied by Edmund D. Beasley. The next person know to live here was Dr. Horace P. Porter, who tried to start a coconut plantation in 1872. He abandoned the plantation after two years; by 1882 only two coconut trees remained. As the only two people known to have lived in this area, it its thought either Beasley or Porter dug this hole.
Although we call this “the well”, its function is no more clear than its creator. Why did a well when there were so many nearby springs? Why was it already dry in 1882? Why put in steps?
Speculation by park visitors has included a ceremonial bath, a root cellar, and even a dungeon. What’s your guess?”