San Buenaventura de Potano

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San Buenaventura de Potano was a Spanish mission near Orange Lake in northern Marion County, Florida.

Potano was the namesake town of the Potano tribe or chiefdom, part of the Timucua people. In the 16th century Potano was located west of Lake Orange, near Evinston. The Hernando de Soto expedition visited Potano in 1539. Spanish missionaries established a visita (a mission building without a resident missionary) in Potano in the early 1580s, but it was destroyed in 1584 or 1585, when the town was raided and burned by Spanish soldiers. The town of Potano was then moved to a site northwest of present-day Gainesville, where the mission of San Francisco de Potano was established in 1606. The mission of San Buenaventura de Potano was established at the old site of Potano near Orange Lake in 1607 or 1608 by Fray Francisco Pareja. It initially served about 200 people, all of whom were baptized. The mission disappeared from Spanish records after 1613, probably because the population was reduced and scattered by epidemics. In any case, the Timucua rebelled against the Spanish government in 1656. After the rebellion had been suppressed, many missions were consolidated and moved closer to the road connecting St. Augustine to the Apalachee Province, the western anchor of the mission system in Florida.[1][2][3][4]


  1. ^ Carr, Susan Latham (July 9, 2012). "Lost mission revealed". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Hann, John H. (1996). A History of the Timucua Indians and Missions. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. p. 166. ISBN 0-8130-1424-7. 
  3. ^ Hiers, Fred (July 8, 2012). "Archaeologist has found evidence of De Soto's expedition". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Milanich, Jerald T. (1995). Florida Indians and the Invasion of Europe. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. pp. 175, 179–183. ISBN 0-8130-1636-3.