Florida is home to an array of attractions and interesting sites. If you’re in the mood for something educational, Manatee Village Historical Park is the perfect place to visit. It’s a great outing for the entire family, as kids and adults will appreciate local history. Learn more about what Manatee County and Bradenton, FL, was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Mission and Purpose
The folks at Manatee Village Historical Park believe that learning about the past is critical to the present and future. That’s why park officials are committed to preserving the rich history of Manatee County and the events that led to its founding and development. At the park, local residents and visitors alike can gain an appreciation of what generations before went through to establish the community where people now thrive.
There’s a lot to do and see at the park, but there are two fixtures you won’t want to miss. The permanent exhibits “One Century Plus of Ranching in Manatee County” and “Life on the Florida Frontier” will take you back in time from 1840 to 1918. The “Ranching” exhibit is held in the Wiggins General Store, which was built in 1903. It shows what life was like as a rancher at the time. The store also has a gift shop and what was once a boarding house.
The “Frontier” exhibit is in the 1912 Settlers House. This home puts you up close and personal of what it was like living in the early part of the 20th century, complete with the elements of daily life in the kitchen and other rooms of the room.
Other Buildings and Attractions to Check Out
There’s plenty more to see at the park. For example, it is home to Old Cabbage Head, a 1913 stream engine with a rounded smokestack. The train once ran through the northern part of Florida. Currently, park officials are seeking donations to conserve the old train. You can also visit Fogarty Boatworks, a boat shop with original equipment and tools, and the Blacksmith Shop, which gives you a look at what an old-time blacksmith store was like. Furthermore, don’t forget to stop by the 1887 Church, 1860 Courthouse, the Schoolhouse, or the Potter Barn either.
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Information to Remember
The park is open Monday through Friday and the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on holidays and the weekends that immediately precede or follow them. It is located at 1404 Manatee Avenue East (SR 64) in Bradenton, FL. Admission is free.
Discover more about what made Bradenton and Manatee County what it is today. Make your plans today to visit Manatee Village Historical Park.