Deep in the heart of the city of Miami, about two blocks from Brickell Street, sits a small wooden house with a garden and a natural spring.
The property is owned by Ishmael Bermudez, a 65-year old man with Native American heritage. Bermudez, who also goes by the name Golden Eagle, has watched Miami grow as tall buildings, major thoroughfares, and other new constructions have dwarfed his tiny home.
Bermudez has spent the last 50 years discovering Native American artifacts, fossils, and prehistoric objects in his garden, which has been labeled “the Well of Ancient Mysteries.”
Because of the artifacts he has found, Bermudez believes that his property was at one time sacred land for the Tequesta tribe. The Tequesta inhabited the southernmost tip of Florida for almost four thousand years. Not wanting contact with Europeans, the Tequesta had mostly migrated away by the time Florida was traded to the British by Spain.
Bermudez has received an offer from a Miami land developer of $1.8 million, due to the property being in a prime spot for construction. Surprisingly, Bermudez has refused this offer unless he has a guarantee that the sacred land will be protected. “
There’s not enough money that can buy what’s on this land because it’s simply priceless,” Mr. Bermudez told a local newspaper. “How can you put a price on the history of humanity? It has none.” Bermudez has suggested that the land become a historical monument to the Native Americans who once dwelt there.
“Maybe like a museum or an archaeological landmark for the city,” he said. “But in these difficult times, it’s hard to believe that someone would have a clean enough soul to do something like this because people only care about making money.”