Most people envision crystal blue water and white sandy beaches when they think about relocating to Florida and not American history class and the Civil War. However, plantations were built and flourished in Florida. One such plantaton still stands today as the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in Ellenton, Florida.
In 1844 Major Robert Gamble purchased 3,500 acres northeast of today's Bradenton and his plantation soon became a leading producer of sugar cane, molasses, citrus, grapes and olives. Gamble's plantation became renowned for its 10-room, two-story architectural design. Greek revival in design, its red brick and tabby walls were two feet thick. The exterior of the home showcases wide-shaded upper and lower verandas wrapping around three sides of the home. The original 40,000 gallon cistern remains today.
Legend has it that Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin used the Gamble Mansion as a safe haven after the Confederacy fell in 1865 until he fled the United States for England. Like many southern plantations, after the war the Gamble Mansion fell into disrepair.
Gamble's mansion was sold to the Patten family after the war. In 1925 the property was saved by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and restored the home, who donated the mansion and 16 acres of land to the state of Florida.
Ellenton's Gamble Plantation Historic State Park welcomes thousands of visitors each year. The park covers over 3,500 acres and the beautifully restored mansion is open for guided tours.
The Gamble Plantation State Historical Site is the only remaining plantation house in South Florida. Built in the mid-1800's by Major Robert Gamble, it was the epicenter of a large sugar plantation. The area along the Gulf Coast from the Crystal River to below Tampa Bay was optimal for growing sugarcane, and many wealthy Floridians settled and built plantations there.
The park grounds open daily at 8 AM. The visitor center/museum is open Thursday through Monday, 9 AM – 5PM.
Ellenton, FL is a cozy community settled along the banks of the Manatee River just a short drive away from Bradenton, Sarasota, and Anna Maria Island. Waterfront properties abound and an eclectic variety of Ellenton homes offer the best in Florida living.
When you are considering a move to the sleepy southern town of Ellenton, our REALTORS® can help you find a beautiful home that will suit your family's needs. Contact Wagner Realty to find out more about South Florida living.