While generations of American children have been taught that Jamestown and Plymouth Rock were the start of this nation, the local group claims that it all started in a little Lowcountry town named Port Royal at a relatively unknown Spanish settlement called Santa Elena.
“It really was where America began,” said Daryl Ferguson of Beaufort, one of five founders of the new Santa Elena Foundation. “But in school, kids learn about Columbus coming in 1492 and the Jamestown settlement in 1607. What’s missing is the first hundred years of ourselves. And it was not a dull period.”
In fact, historians say Santa Elena may be the first significant European settlement in what would become the United States.
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