Historical Markers in
Manatee County, Florida

1914 Carnegie Library 9th Avenue West Bridge Adams and Rogers Cemeteries Atzeroth Home Site Bealls Centennial Bethany Baptist Church Braden Castle Braden Castle Ruins Braden River Bradenton General Hospital Bradentown Depot Camp Weatherford Courthouse Square Craig Sugar Mill Chimney Curry Houses National Register Historic District / Refuge of Peace Cypress House Military Museum Danger Approaches De Soto Point De Soto Trail Monument DeSoto Trail Duette School Edmund Lee Family Graveyard and the Lonesome Grave/William R. Whitaker House First Manatee Courthouse / Manatee Methodist Church First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton First Settler's Homesite Florida Highway Patrol School Florida Naval Stores Florida's Earliest Courthouse Building Former Town of Fogartyville/Former Town of Wilhelmsenburg Franklin C. Armstrong Gamble Mansion and Plantation Gamble Sugar Cane Mill Gillette Community Guerrero Home Site Heritage Chapel Heritage Station Post Office 1880 Hernando de Soto Holy Eucharist Monument and Memorial Cross In Memory Of All Veterans La Florida's Early Peoples Life on the Florida Frontier: The Stephens Family Lincoln High School Lincoln Memorial High School Long Pier Long Pier Veterans Memorial Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site Major Adams Cemetery Manatee Academy Manatee Burying Ground Manatee Mineral Spring Old Cabbage Head Old Memphis Cemetery Palma Sola Palma Sola Community Church Palmetto Palmetto Baptist Church / Dr. M.B. Harrison Palmetto Riverside Bed and Breakfast Palmetto's Schools Parrish Passage Key Realizing a Dream Rubonia Women's Club Shaw's Point Archeological District Site of Atwood Grove and Origin of World's 1st Pink Grapefruit / Snead Island / Seventh Day Adventist School Sugar Kettle T.P. Winter Building Tabby House Ruins Terra Ceia School/Village Improvement Association Hall The 1887 Church The 1890 Bratton Store/The 1912 Cortez Rural Graded Schoolhouse The Anna Maria Pier The Bunker Hill School The Carnegie Library The City of Anna Maria Historical Park The Cottage Museum The Edmund Lee Family Pioneer Cemetery The Florida Cracker Trail The Fogarty Boat Works The Great Chime Bell The Historic Cottages of Pine Avenue The Homes on the end of The Pier The Island Playhouse The Manatee River The Old City Jail The Palmetto Armory The Plymouth The Potter Barn The Schoolhouse The Smokehouse, Syrup Kettle and Sugar Cane Mill The Stephens House The Town of Manatee The Village of Cortez The Wiggins Store The 'Old' Palmetto Cemetery Whitfield Estates on Sarasota Bay William Bassett Chapter Woman’s Club of Palmetto World War II Bombing Range “Bean's Point” / Early Legend
Florida has been the site of many space launches and is home to the Kennedy Space Center, where NASA launched the Apollo missions to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s.
Manatee County, located on the southwestern coast of Florida, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes such as the Calusa and Timucua. These tribes thrived off the abundant natural resources in the region, including the rivers, bays, and wildlife. European explorers, including Hernando de Soto, arrived in the 16th century, leading to the eventual colonization of the area by the Spanish.

In the 19th century, Manatee County experienced rapid growth and development. The first permanent settlement, called Braden Castle, was established in 1842. The region quickly became known for its fertile land, which attracted settlers interested in agriculture and farming. The county's economy grew as farmers cultivated crops like citrus fruits, vegetables, and tobacco. In addition to agriculture, fishing and boating industries also thrived along the coastline.

By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of the railroad and the opening of the port in the city of Bradenton further boosted the county's growth. The development of transportation infrastructure facilitated trade and commerce, making Manatee County an important hub for shipping goods to other parts of Florida and beyond. The county also became a popular tourist destination, thanks to its warm climate and beautiful beaches.

Over the years, Manatee County has continued to evolve and diversify its economy. Tourism remains a significant industry, with visitors flocking to attractions such as the world-renowned beaches of Anna Maria Island and the vibrant downtown area of Bradenton. Additionally, the county has embraced healthcare, education, and technology sectors, contributing to its overall economic prosperity. Today, Manatee County stands as a historical and vibrant community that reflects both its past and present influences.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Manatee County, Florida.

  • 1842: Manatee County is created as an original county of the Territory of Florida.
  • 1855: Manatee Village is established as the county seat.
  • 1866: Bradenton, located near the mouth of the Manatee River, becomes the new county seat.
  • 1887: The first railroad reaches Bradenton, spurring economic growth in the area.
  • 1893: The courthouse in Bradenton is completed.
  • 1911: The first bridge across the Manatee River is opened, connecting Bradenton and Palmetto.
  • 1921: The Village of Cortez becomes part of Manatee County.
  • 1924: The Tamiami Trail, a highway linking Tampa and Miami, is completed, bringing more visitors and settlers to the area.
  • 1945: The first hospital, Manatee Memorial, is established in Bradenton.
  • 1989: The Manatee County Historical Commission is formed to preserve and promote the county's history.
  • 2019: Manatee County celebrates its 175th anniversary as a county.