The origin of the name “Indian Rocks” is shrouded in the mists of time, but the most commonly offered explanation relates to the miraculous healing of native Indian Chief Chic-a-Si.
According to the legend, the chief, who lived in the Ocala region, contracted an illness so severe that members of his village feared death was near. An old friend of Chic-a-Si’s named Chief Nu-Wa recommended that he be taken to a healing spring near some large rocks along the coast to the southwest.
The chief was carried to a rocky campsite along the Narrows to be near the spring, which legend says was the old sulfur spring that once flowed in what is now Kolb Park. That spring was capped years ago due to its unpleasant odor.
The Chic-a-Si story is one version of how Indian Rocks got its name. Another simpler legend tells about the Indians crossing over from the mainland to the island to fish along the shore. They chose a narrow spot to cross, where rocks protruding from the water made it easy for them to walk across to the island. So the rocks became known as Indian Rocks.
While neither legend has been documented, both offer a picturesque and plausible explanation for how our slice of paradise got its enduring title: Indian Rocks Beach.
Chief Chic-a-Si drank heartily of the mineral waters from the spring, and quickly regained his health. After that, the Indians returned to the site each year to drink from the miraculous spring and fish in local waters.
The legend concludes that early settlers to the area, observing the Indians’ pilgrimage to “the rocks,” originated the term Indian Rocks as an apt description for their settlement.