The Story of Manatee County
I' is possible to paraphrase and condense the story of Manatee County in a few
words: From the time of the first white settlers in Florida through the years of
the Seminole wars, through the vivid modern history of Florida, Manatee County
has been a producer.
Go back a half century or more in the history of the Land o' Manatee and you
will find records and accounts of the beginning of an industry which is today one of the out-
standing assets of Manatee County-profitable agriculture.
There is but one way to gain an instant appreciation of the modern Manatee County-
and that is to see for yourself its fields of truck crops, its groves, its poultry ranches, its dairy
farms, its pine forests, its thriving cities and new farming communities, its rivers and bays and
lakes, its miles of sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
Here is a region so diversified in its appeal that it may hold out its hand of welcome to the
farmer, the animal husbandman, the merchant who seeks new fields for service, the industry
seeking location, labor and materials compatible with all that South Florida offers; and, last
but not in any sense least, the winter vacationist who seeks a healthful climate and all popular
forms of outdoor sport and recreation.
The story of Manatee County might be written with all the glamour and adventure of
pioneer fiction; the story of its agriculture might be filled with records of unusual and almost
unbelievable profits: the story of its sunshine, palms and flowers might be phrased in the most
'..r-, language. Instead, Manatee County invites you to come and
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i7jow Manatee County Agricultural Products Help Fill
The Nation's Market Basket
NE THING which time can never change
is primarily responsible for the success of
Manatee County as a leading producer of
agricultural products. That chief factor
is a climate which permits a growing sea-
son during that part of the year when only a very
limited area in all of America can produce the green
foods, vegetables and fruits which form an important
part of the nation's daily menu.
The winter months of the north are the chief
growing and marketing months of Florida. And as
a consequence there can never be more than limited
competition in supplying the needs of the nation for
winter-grown fresh vegetables and fruits.
From November to June carloads of vegetables
and fruits from the fields and groves of Manatee
County are shipped to the great markets in central
and eastern United States and Canada. These ship-
ments average approximately 7,000 carloads of vege-
tables and fruits a season. Besides this vast quantity
of products shipped in carlots, a great deal of the
products of truck farms and groves of Manatee
County is shipped by express or consumed in nearby
city markets. Last season Manatee County raised
and shipped enough tomatoes to supply one winter-
grown tomato to half the population of the United
States. And the re-
turn to growers was
more than '2.) 2 0.-
i,. t h i f r o m
'.'1 ) acres planted
to this one crop
T,.-) cr Mcrtc Crops
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It Otiould be borne
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grower :n Mlanatee
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County raises at least two major crops on the same
land during the growing and shipping season. Many
farmers plant a cover or forage crop as a third crop.
But land in the Land o' Manatee does double the
work of land in the north, where the growing season
is only long enough for one crop.
It is well recognized throughout Florida that
Manatee County is one of the leaders in profitable
marketing of truck crops. There is a co-operative
marketing organization with several hundred mem-
bers, operating a group of packing plants; there are
a number of long-established independent packers
and commission buyers; and there are annually a
large number of "spot" buyers who purchase crops
in the field or at cars. These buyers come to Mana-
tee County because the county's products have an
established reputation for quality. Citrus fruits are
also marketed co-operatively and independently.
The new farmer coming to Manatee County has
the advantage of these marketing facilities. And if
he is a progressive farmer, he has the advantage of
profiting by all the mistakes and hard work that
others have shouldered to make this region a leader
in agriculture and horticulture in Florida. The
county has an organized department to foster farming
and home-making, under the direction of expert
agricultural and home
F demonstration agents
. Advice and aid are
SI given the new settler
SI f tor the asking
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Future of Aariculture
in Manatee County
facts and you will
gain a greater concep-
tion of the fertility of
tee County soils and the opportunities for fu-
development of agriculture in this section:
anatee County has approximately 485,000
within its borders. Yet only approximately
00 to 15,000 acres of land are under actual cul-
tion for farm production purposes-truck gar-
ag, citrus fruits, tropical fruits, berries or field
The estimate is that this acreage is nearly
ded-half used for truck crops and half in groves.
re are hundreds of thousands of acres of rich
s in the county untouched by a plow, awaiting
developer and settler. The crops shipped from
age under development at this time total approxi-
itely $6,000,000 annually. Then there are the
iry and poultry industries, both of which are gain-
g greater prominence in the county.
It must not be inferred that the farmer settling
i1 Manatee County will have no problems. But it
is true- that there are agencies and individuals who
will give him aid to avoid mistakes. Drainage and
irrigation are two essential factors for success in South
Florida farming, and the farmer must first see to it
that his land is well drained and irrigated if he expects
to ;nake a normal success of his crops year after year.
.Much adequately drained land is available in the
,county for settling. -And irrigation is merely a mat-
ter of sinking wells for the entire county is .nderlaid
by an artesian flow.
Modern Road System in Manatee County
Marketing, as reported, is in good hands in Man-
atee County and the farmer has an even break in dis-
posing of his crops. Transportation is no longer a
problem. Manatee County has completed more than
one hundred miles of hard-surfaced highways in the
past year, expending more than $1,500,000 to pro-
vide highways tapping rich agricultural lands and
connecting the cities of the county with one another
and with the county seats of neighboring counties.
Two railroads serve the county-the Atlantic Coast
Line and the Seaboard Air Line-and a Seaboard
subsidiary connects Bradenton, county seat of Mana-
tee County, and Arcadia, county seat of DeSoto
County. There is a steamship line from Bradenton
and Palmetto to New Orleans and local steamship
service to St. Petersburg and Tampa. *
The agricultural situation in Manatee County
can best be gleaned from investigation on the field.
Come and see the fields and groves producing, just as
you see them in the pictures in this booklet. But
it is also well to bear in mind these facts, if you are
thinking of a farm in South Florida:
South Florida farm lands, especially truck and
citrus lands, must be drained and irrigated. Manatee
County offers thousands of acres of lands drained and
ready for farming.
Large farms are unnecessary in this region to
make a good living for an average family. In fact,
intensive rather than extensive agriculture is the prac-
tice. Truck lands produce at least two shipping
crops a year.
Marketing facilities must be available. Manatee
County is a leader in this regard.
Transportation and living conditions are impor-
tant. Manatee County offers every necessary facility
for getting crops to market, for healthful living condi-
tions and for recreation in its cities or at the seashore.
If the story of agriculture in Manatee County
interests you, come to the Land o' Manatee and get
the facts from the men who are living and working
and building that story year in and year out-our
farmers, our bankers, our business men.
Thriving Cities, New Farming Communities
a builder of cities. Modern farmers de-
mand modern trade and recreation centers.
Wealth which comes from the soil finds
its way into homes, stores, banks and
Prosperous agriculture has been the foundation
of Manatee County's cities. Added to this commerce
springing from the soil are industries and recreational
facilities which have given added growth to many of
the cities within the county.
Bradenton, county seat of Manatee County
(please refer to map on inside cover) is a city of
15,000 permanent population and is also the largest
resort city of the county. It is well equipped with
modern hotels, apartments and homes.
Palmetto, directly across the Manatee River, has
a population of approximately 5,000. This city is
the rail center of vegetable and citrus shipments from
the county. It also offers modern hotel and apart-
ment accommodations for winter visitors.
Manatee adjoins Bradenton on the east. This
city has approximately 5,000 population, and is the
county's chief industrial center. A large crate mill,
canning factories, lumber and novelty mills, brick
works are some of the industries here.
Parrish, although not incorporated, is in the heart
of a rich agricultural section, and is a thriving town.
Ellenton, east of Palmetto, is a progressive small city
and is best famed as the location of the Gamble Man-
sion, new state Confederate shrine.
Whitfield Estates is a new and modern home
community in southwestern Manatee County, bor-
dering Sarasota Bay. It is one of the outstanding
new cities of Florida.
Myakka City, Oneco, Gillete, Terra Ceia and
Samoset are agriculturally prominent. Terra Ceia
city is located on Terra Ceia Island and is one of the
richest small farming areas in Florida. It is an early
shipper of fruits and winter vegetables.
Anna Maria is an island city, on the north end of
Anna Maria key, bordered on one side by the Gulf of
Mexico and on the other by Tampa and Sarasota Bays.
It is a resort and fishing community. Cortez, on the
mainland opposite Bradenton Beach on the Gulf, is
the center of the county's important commercial fish-
ing industry. Palma Sola is also most noted for its
surrounding farmlands. Snead's Island, though not
a city, is another rich island agricultural community.
Good highways link all these communities to-
gether. Between Bradenton and Palmetto the state
has under construction (completion scheduled April
1, 1927) a million dollar highway bridge across the
mile-wide Manatee River.
Manatee County's cities have modern schools and
churches. Schools are under the supervision of
county and district school boards, and the two county
high schools are accredited institutions. Churches
represent practically all denominations.
Everything that the settler seeks in a progressive
community will be found in Manatee County's thriv-
ing cities. And there are being developed and set-
tled many new farming communities where modern
conveniences add much to farm life.
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kul I kAl
cJIanatee County's Playgrounds and Resorts
LIMATE makes possible Manatee Coun-
ty's agricultural prominence. Warm
winter sunshine makes bountiful crops.
And just so is climate responsible for the
growing importance of Manatee County
as a West Coast resort community-a region where
winter vacationists find all those facilities for com-
fort, sports and recreation which they seek.
Here modern, beautiful and "sporty" golf courses
adjoin fertile fields and groves; here are city parks
where roque, horseshoe pitching, tennis and the like
are played; here are miles and miles of broad, shelving
beaches bordering the Gulf of Mexico, easily accessible
from all cities of the county; here are rivers, lakes and
the Gulf for fishing.
Manatee County offers a unique contrast in its
producing and recreational advantages. But its facili-
ties for healthful recreation appeal as much to the
farmer as to the winter visitor from the north. That
is one reason why farm life in the Land o' Manatee
is a bit richer and finer-and why young people are
taking to the farms as a matter of choice rather than
For winter visitors who seek the mild winter
climate, the semi-tropical atmosphere of South Flor-
ida, Manatee County offers much. Modern housing
facilities-new hotels and apartments-hundreds of
well-built, comfortable homes-are available. Special
entertainment programs are fostered by different cities
of the county. Churches welcome the winter visitor
and schools are open to non-resident children. Coun-
try clubs offer social features throughout the year.
Modern theatres bring many of the current "hits" of
the theatrical world to the county. There is much
for the winter visitor to do, much to see, in Manatee
Good highways lead in every direction. There
are many historical spots-Braden Castle and the
famous Gamble mansion among them-and there are
many things of interest in the packing plants and
fields where Manatee County's crops are raised and
prepared for market. In February and March big
league baseball, with one major league team and one
minor league club training in the county, is another
The county's four golf courses-Palmetto Coun-
try Club course, Whitfield Estates course, Palma Sola
course, Bradenton Country Club or municipal course
-are well known throughout the country and are
open to visitors at small greens fees.
Fishing guides at Cortez and at other points in
the county take sportsmen to the Gulf banks for deep-
sea fishing. And there is plenty of good fishing
practically at the front doors of many of the county's
If you seek health, comfort and outdoor activities
in warm winter sunshine, come to Manatee County.
You will enjoy living in this normal, progressive
region, where visitors are given real consideration and
welcomed with friendly hospitality.
Printed in U. S. A. by Tampa Tribune, Inc. Produced by E. E. Garrison and R. S. Campbell for the Board of County Commissioners. Art work
and engravings by Clyde Glenn, Inc., Tampa. Photos by Burgert Bros.
Summary of Manatee County's Advantages
ANATEE County is one of the nation's
greatest producing counties from the stand-
point of agricultural products shipped. It
ranks well up on the list of all counties in
the United States. And the possibilities
for successful agricultural development have barely
been scratched. For many years it has been Florida's
earliest shipper of grapefruit.
Manatee County offers the new settler an unusual
opportunity. However, it is pointed out that any
one contemplating farming in South Florida should
have sufficient finances to carry through for one year,
until crops are made. Specific information as to land
costs and other matters will be given by any Chamber
of Commerce listed below.
Manatee County has many diversified industries,
among them one of the largest commercial fishing
ports in the state; crate mill, lumber mills, brick mill,
canning factories and the like. These produce a
steady income all the year.
Manatee County's climate is sub-tropical. Its
vegetation is sub-tropical-palms and brilliant flow-
ers, coconut palms and other attractive sub-tropical
growths thrive all the year.
Manatee County is an ideal winter vacation land
-with water frontage on rivers, bays and the Gulf
of Mexico; with mainland and island cities; with
four adequate modern golf courses; with city-owned
recreation grounds; with modern hotels, apartments
and homes at reasonable rates; with large churches of
almost all denominations, modern schools, modern
stores and all other features of city life.
If you contemplate Florida as a permanent home;
if you seek a real opportunity for success in farming,
fruit raising, dairying or poultry and bee-keeping; if
you are interested in locating industries in a region
which offers labor supply, forest materials and ade-
quate shipping facilities; if you seek a place to dodge
the cold winter months, to regain lost health or to
play out-of-doors in the winter-
Why be satisfied with less than Manatee County
HIS booklet is issued by the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County,
and is intended to indicate the agricultural advantages, recreational facilities,
city advantages and sub-tropical beauty of the Land o' Manatee. For information
on any subject not adequately covered herein, write to the Chambers of Commerce
of Bradenton, Palmetto, Manatee, Parrish, Ellenton, or Anna Maria. But come to
Manatee County-we would like to have you see for yourself its particular advantages.