Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
Front view of the beautiful Wakulla Springs Lodge. Alligators resting on a log are some of the most common residents here. Jumping off the dive tower is a popular activity. One of the famous tour boats gliding along the Wakulla River.
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
Aerial view of Wakulla Springs State Park showing the Lodge and the spring - one of the world's largest first-magnitude springs.

History and Culture

Humans have occupied the lands around Wakulla Springs for nearly 15,000 years. It is thought to be named for the Timucuan Indian word meaning 'mysterious waters'. Archaeological evidence shows intermittent habitation from Paleo-Indian times through European contact in 1513. Later periods are also represented, particularly the Spanish Mission, Creek and Seminole. Edward Ball purchased the property in 1934 and developed it as an attraction focusing on wildlife preservation and the surrounding habitat. The Wakulla Springs Lodge, completed in 1937, is an excellent example of Mediterranean Revival architecture. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Historic view of the Lodge.

The Lodge

The Lodge as it looked as a resort in the 1940s or 1950s. Designed by the firm of Marsh and Saxelbye of Jacksonville, the Lodge is an excellent example of Mediterranean Revival architecture.

The Creature seen resting on  a log during filming of

The Creature

"There's no business, like show business" and Wakulla Springs has had its share of Hollywood experiences. The 1954 horror flick, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," is just one of the movies filmed on location at the springs.

Edward Ball.

Edward Ball

Ed Ball, a well-known Florida businessman and philanthropist, purchased Wakulla Springs in 1934 and soon after built the Wakulla Springs Lodge.

Historic picture of a guest diving from the old three story dive tower.


Years ago, fun-seekers at Wakulla Springs enjoyed a swan dive off the old three story wooden dive tower. A new tower was later built, containing only two stories and constructed of concrete.

Tarzan, Jane and Boy.


Here's another snapshot from Wakulla Springs' star-studded past. Three of the MGM Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weismuller were filmed in the jungle-like wilderness surrounding the springs.