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Old Manatee A to Z

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toOl ManateWritten by Ryan G. Van CleaveIllustrated by Don Brandes

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Copyright © 2020 Realize Bradenton, Inc.All rights reserved.No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review. ISBN: 978-1-7338746-1-8Library of Congress Control Number: 2020906470Old Manatee A to Zis a children’s book that highlights the rich history and natural environment of the area where Bradenton, Florida was founded.A Realize Bradenton Production For more information, please contact info@realizebradenton.comwww.RealizeBradenton.comWritten by Ryan G. Van CleaveIllustrations by Don BrandesIllustrations rendered in colored pencil and tissue paperGraphic Design by Paula Murray, Artefact Design, Inc. Historic photographs courtesy of Manatee County Public Library System Digital CollectionPrinted in the United States of America by Manatee Printers, Inc.First Edition 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Note to the reader: This book’s purpose is to educate, inform and entertain. The subject matter was drawn from a variety of sources and is presented as accurately as research and recollection permits.Ol ManateZAto

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A Realize Bradenton ProductionWritten by Ryan G. Van CleaveIllustrated by Don BrandestoOl Manate

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Let’s adventure through Old Manatee!is for Adventure.

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is for Boat.Before roads, people in Old Manatee relied on boats to get around. Most had more than one boat, the way families today often have more than one car.

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is for Crate Mill.

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Wooden crates were built at a mill in Old Manatee. The crates were used to ship oranges, celery, and tomatoes up north.

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is for Dock.Since boats were a popular way to travel, people in Old Manatee used docks to “park” their boats.

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is for for Egret.Great Egrets stand as still as statues when hunting for food.

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is for Freedom Seekers.People escaping slavery often created their own communities. Before becoming Old Manatee, there was a community called Angola where hundreds of freedom seekers built houses, grew crops, and raised families.

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is for Freedom Seekers.

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is for Gazebo.Early settlers worked together to build a big gazebo in Old Manatee. Gazebos are wonderful places for picnics, parties, and concerts.

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is for Horse.Cattle drivers and farm owners used the speedy Florida Cracker Horse to herd cattle.

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is for Ice Cream Social.Ice cream socials were popular Old Manatee events. People ate chocolate and vanilla, but also tea and oyster-flavored ice cream. Would YOU eat oyster-flavored ice cream?

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is for Jacks.Jacks was a popular game in Old Manatee and is still played by children today.

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is for Key.Keys, like the ones we use today, were invented in the 1840s. Anyone who needed keys probably had them made by the Old Manatee blacksmith, Thomas Kenney.

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is for Landmark.A landmark is an easily recognized building or place. The remaining historic landmarks of Old Manatee are identified with signs like this one.

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is for Manatee.Old Manatee was named after the gentle “sea cows” that thrived in the Manatee River.

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Native forMany Native Americans hunted, fished, and lived along the Manatee River.

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is for Oyster.There used to be so many oysters in the Manatee River that it was once called the Oyster River.

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is for Pumpkin.People in Old Manatee loved to eat pumpkins. They planted them at the base of trees, and the vines would climb, so full-grown pumpkins eventually dangled from the branches.

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is for Quilt.Women and girls of Old Manatee often came together to host quilting bees. At these gatherings, they made blankets and bedcovers as gifts for weddings and other special days.

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is for Railroad.The most famous steam-engine locomotive in Manatee County was “Old Cabbage Head.” It was driven by Florida’s first Black train conductor, Solomon Williams. How do you think Old Cabbage Head got its name?

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is for Railroad.

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is for Spring.

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For hundreds of years, people believed that Manatee Mineral Spring had magical healing powers.

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is for Tin Can Tourist.Tin Can Tourists drove cars and trailers from northern states to Florida to avoid the cold winter. Do you think their vehicles looked like tin cans? Or did the name come from tourists eating so many meals out of tin cans?

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is for Underwater.Beneath the Manatee River is a meadow of seagrass that’s home to all kinds of creatures. See for yourself!

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is for Villa Zanza.Did you know there was a castle in Old Manatee? It took Civil War veteran Major Alden Adams seven years to build Villa Zanza.

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is for Wiggins Store.The settlers of Old Manatee got groceries and supplies at Wiggins Store. Since there were no phones or the internet then, people gathered there to talk, laugh, and play.

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marks the spot!

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What would you find if you could go back in time to visit Old Manatee when the settlers first lived there?

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is for You!What interests YOU most about Old Manatee?

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is for Zebra Longwing.The graceful Zebra Longwing often flitted on the breeze in Old Manatee. It became the ocial butterfly of the State of Florida.

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This is a photo of the Manatee Crate Company from 1926. The Manatee Crate Company opened for business in 1920 in Old Manatee. They made hampers, orange boxes, and celery and tomato crates. The Crate Company was able to produce more than 20,000 crates a day. During a lumber shortage, they switched to making cardboard boxes which were cheaper to create, transport, and store. The Manatee Crate Company closed their doors in 1952. This is a photo of the steam engine locomotive aectionately nicknamed “Old Cabbage Head.” The engine was constructed in 1913; however, it didn’t arrive in Manatee County until 1948. Constructed of steel, oak, and yellow pine, this particular engine had a uniquely shaped smokestack, which lead to its iconic nickname. While in operation by the Manatee Crate Company, Old Cabbage Head traveled east, where it collected cut timber, and then returned to the mill where the timber was used to build crates. Under the operation of Solomon Williams, Florida’s first Black train engineer, Old Cabbage Head traveled the rails until it was retired in 1951.This a photo from the early 1900s of the gazebo at the Manatee Mineral Spring Park in Old Manatee. The gazebo was surrounded by three shell mounds, which were removed and the shell was used for paving roads.This photo of the City Dock of Manatee, dated between 1900-1910, shows a steamboat named H. B. Plant. The Manatee River was the main transportation route for Manatee County, but navigation was challenged by the shallow water near the shoreline. Docks were built to extend out into deeper water to allow large boats access to Old Manatee.Cis for Crate mill.Ris for Railroad.Dis for Dock.Gis for Gazebo.Cis for Crate mill.Gis for Gazebo.Dis for Dock.Ris for Railroad.

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In this 1905 photo, people pose near the staircase of Villa Zanza, also known as Adams Castle. Major Alden Adams—a veteran of the Union Army during the Civil War and a newspaper correspondent from New York City—moved to Manatee County in 1876. Over time, he became the largest landowner, owning more than 300,000 acres in the county. In 1881, Major Adams began building a 16-room concrete building shaped like a castle that overlooked the Manatee River on a high blu. At the end of seven years, this three-story home of Spanish architecture was finally complete.This 1915 photo captures the Tin Can Tourist Camp at Braden Castle, part of Dr. Braden’s antebellum sugar plantation. The origin of the term “tin can tourist” isn’t clear. Some have suggested that it refers to the campers’ reliance upon canned foods. Others believe the name refers to the small Ford automobile of the era, the Model T. The Tin Can Tourists (TCT) first organized as a camping club in Tampa, Florida, in 1919. Today, the Milford, Michigan-based group has a membership in excess of 2,000.The interior of the K.W. “King” Wiggins Store is featured in this photo dated 1911-1915. At the turn of the century, if you wanted the best selection of groceries, dry goods, and gadgets in Manatee County, you came here. King Wiggins, an entrepreneur in business and agriculture, built his original store in 1903. The Wiggins Store became a gathering spot for the Manatee community. Customers lingered to catch up on village news, listen to Wiggins’ phonograph, or play a game of checkers.Tis for Tin Can Tourists.Vis for Villa Zanza.Wis for Wiggins Store.Tis for Tin Can Tourists.Vis for Villa Zanza.Wis for Wiggins Store.

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — DR. SEUSS, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!The Champions of Education believe that children are our future. These Champions have invested in our community’s youth and education by partnering with Realize Bradenton in this first-ever children’s book about Bradenton, Florida. Reading a book about our community takes on special meaning when learning about the history, people, plants, landmarks, and animals of the area where the City of Bradenton was founded.Annie & Alex BreitingerRealize Bradenton believes that our community’s history, art, and stories create a place where children and the adults in their lives—parents, aunties, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, and friends— want to live and learn.As a nonprofit organization, we work with our partners, volunteers, and donors to build a vibrant, healthy, and FUN Bradenton.Here are business partners that make our work possible:INSURANCE &INVESTMENTSBOYDsocialSOKOSCMYCMMYCYCMYKfeld-logo-B&W-vector.pdf 1 8/20/2018 1:33:31 PMChampion o EducatioBUSINESS INNOVATORSDOWNTOWN CHAMPIONSIn Memory of Morris D. ZieglerBud & Marjorie Martini

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Ryan G. Van Cleave is the author of 20+ books and heruns the kidlit blog He also directs the Creative Writing Program at Ringling College of Art and Design.Don Brandes decided to be an artist sometime around the 2ndgrade. He met his wife Katy when they were illustrators at Hallmark Cards. They have two sons and now work at Ringling College of Art and Design.AcknowledgementAlone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —HELEN KELLERRealize Bradenton believes that a book created about the community, by the community, for the community is a unique opportunity for all generations to embark on a journey through the alphabet to discover more about the people, places, plants, and animals of the place where the City of Bradenton was founded—Old Manatee.This picture book builds reading readiness, promotes family connections, and boosts civic pride. Content from this book also comes alive as public art at the Riverwalk East Park.Realize Bradenton is honored that an anonymous out-of-state foundation believes in Realize Bradenton and our ability to make a difference to the children in our community. Their generosity provided the start-up funds to make this book a reality.Realize Bradenton coordinated the team of 12 individuals and enlisted their talents to create Old Manatee A to Z:Paula Murray, Creative Director, Artefact Design, Inc.CathySlusser, Retired Director of Historical Resources, Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court Phaedra Dolan, Deputy Director, Historical Resources, Manatee County Clerk of Circuit CourtJodi Carroll, Special Projects Manager, Realize BradentonKrystin Miner, Records Librarian for Manatee County Clerk of Circuit CourtCatherine Ferrer, Community Engagement Coordinator, Realize BradentonDavid Breakfield, Manatee County LibrarianJohnette Isham, Executive Director, Realize Bradenton Sherry Robinson Svekis, Vice President of Reflections of ManateeKaren Fraley Willey, Naturalist,Around the Bend Nature Tours LLC

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A REALIZE BRADENTON PRODUCTION9 781733 87461851500>ISBN 978-1-7338746-1-8$15.00