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Admission is Free! Visit the Manatee Village Historical Park today!

Special Announcement

We've been refreshing the Wiggins Store lately!

Next time you visit, you will notice we've switched to LED lighting, which really makes a nice difference in viewing our exhibits, as well as being kinder to our collections and much more energy efficient.

Next on the list is new carpet! Bear with us...  The upstairs of the Wiggins Store will be closed for this process for the next week.

Times and Locations

Realize Bradenton

The Manatee Village Historical Park is a proud partner of Realize Bradenton. Joining arts, culture and heritage to make downtown Bradenton a unique place to live, work and visit.

Location: 1404 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida 34208

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Second & Fourth Saturdays: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Phone Number: (941) 749-7165
Fax Number: (941) 708-5924
E-mail: Manatee Village
View Frequently asked Questions

Manatee Village Historical Park is closed New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July Holiday, Labor Day Weekend, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Weekend, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Upcoming Special Events

Join us in celebration of Spanish Heritage Month! as Dr. Steven Noll presents: The Spanish Legacy of Florida

Manatee Village Historical Park is pleased to host award-winning author and history professor Dr. Steven Noll in a compelling Power-Point presentation titled The Spanish Legacy of Florida. Dr. Noll is a frequent speaker on the Florida Humanities Council Speakers Bureau roster. His timely visit on Tuesday, October 14 at 1:00 pm, coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in Florida from September 14 – October 15. Dr. Noll’s program will highlight the long influence of Spain and Spanish culture on the Sunshine State from early exploration to today’s multi-cultural (and multi-lingual) society.

Beginning with the periods of Spanish control and how they shaped Florida into a very different place than those colonies settled by the English and the French, he will move on to speak on the differing forms of labor established under the Spanish and how that affected race relations. Dr. Noll will note the origins of Florida agriculture stemming back to the introduction by the Spanish of Andalusian cattle (the descendants of which we now refer to as “Cracker Cattle”). He will also comment on how nearby Ybor City and Tampa were molded by the Spanish influence.

Dr. Noll will finish the program remarking on the return of the Spanish influence in the last half or the 20th century. The audience will gain a better understanding of how the everyday reminders of the Spanish heritage - seen through art, architecture, culture, cuisine and music - have evolved.

The location for this special program is the historic Church at Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East (State Road 64) Bradenton, Florida. Admission is Free. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info call (941) 741-4076. “Funding for this program has been provided by the Florida Humanities Council and is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.”

The program is produced by R.B. “Chips” Shore, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Noll is a master lecturer in the history department at the University of Florida, where he received his PhD. He previously taught special education in the public schools of Alachua County for 28 years before moving over full-time to UF in 2004. In 2012 he was recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the 300 best professors in the nation. Only 10 other Florida professors earned this designation

As an author, Dr. Noll has written extensively on two widely disparate topics- Florida history & the environment and disability history. In 2009, he published the award winning Ditch of Dreams, about the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal. In 2010 this book received the Rembert Patrick Award for the best scholarly book on Florida history and the Michael Thomason Award for the Best Book in Gulf South history. He is currently working on two books- one on the disability rights movement of the 1970s, and the other on Florida environmental policy and the politics of removing the Rodman Dam on the Dam on the Ocklawaha River.

About National Hispanic Heritage Month:

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. Courtesy - The Library of Congress

Season IV Spirit Voices from Old Manatee SOLD OUT!!

Near one of the oldest interior settlements of Florida, not far from the mystic “Singing River,” exists one of the oldest organized burying grounds on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Your rendezvous with the past awaits ...

Manatee County Historical Commission is pleased to announce that the 2014 production of Spirit Voices from Old Manatee opens October 2nd and tickets are now on sale at Manatee Village Historical Park. This popular living history drama features costumed actors who portray the early settlers interred in the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds with riveting and haunting graveside dialogues. Stories are based on narratives from archives, descendants, diaries, military logs, books and legend. The setting is dusk, the stage draped by century-old mossy oaks. Here viewers learn more about the development of the area from 1840 to the turn of the century. They leave with a new appreciation for the contributions made by pioneers to the Manatee lands through tales of their triumphs, tragedies and amusing escapades.

The program unfolds at the Old Settlers house at Manatee Village Historical Park with a Victorian Wake. The plot centers around the story of a recently deceased young person who actually lived in the cracker gothic style house that was moved to the Park from Castalia in 1984. The audience follows along with the mourning procession to the “main stage” across the street – the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds. Buried here are members of Florida’s pioneer families, soldiers of the Seminole Indian Wars and of the Confederate and Union forces and three members of the Florida Secession Convention.

Both the Park and the cemetery are located in the City of Bradenton, Florida, along the historic Florida Cracker Trail, now known as State Road 64 or Manatee Avenue.)


Due to popular demand, the production run has been extended to three weekends this year. Week I: October 2, 3, 4, *5; Week II: 9, 10, 11, 12; and Week III: 16, 17, 18, and 19. *The show on October 5th will take place in the historic Old Meeting House Church for those who prefer a seated performance. Gates open at 6:30 pm and the Cemetery Tour starts promptly at 7:00 pm. Due to the interactive nature of this event, all attendees will be required to sign a waiver at the gate, prior to admission. Please allow ample time for this process.

Purchase tickets early - audience space is limited!! Advance tickets purchased on or before October 1st are $20 per person; Remaining tickets, if available, purchased after October 1st or at the door are $22.00 per person. Not recommended for viewers under 10 years old. Everyone is required to have a ticket, including children.

All shows are SOLD OUT!!

Terms: cash, check, money order, ATM/Debit, and most major credit cards. You may call in your ticket order: (941) 741-4076 or visit Manatee Village Historical Park Monday through Friday and the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 9 am – 4 pm.



Pelot’s Pharmacy, It Works!, Hancock Bank, Bright House Networks, Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, Webtivity, PJ’s Sandwich Shop, Ist Manatee Bank Herald Tribune Media Group (media sponsor) and generous private donors.

Cultural Partner: Realize Bradenton

WHO PRODUCES THE SHOW AND WHY? The Manatee County Historical Commission and R.B. “Chips” Shore, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources produce the show. Motivated by the mission statement: “Preserving Our Past to Enrich Our Future” it aims to educate the public about life in Southwest Florida in the 19th and early 20th centuries and development of the Manatee lands. In addition, this program also increases cultural tourism, highlights the contributions of the area’s founding citizens, and raises awareness for cemetery etiquette and preservation.

Parking and Map

General admission is free, donations are greatly appreciated. Certain special events require an admission fee. Contact Park staff for details.

Manatee Village Historical Park is primarily handicapped accessible. Due to the historic nature of some of our buildings, visitors may be offered an alternative experience. Call or e-mail for more information.

Google Map to the Manatee Village Historical Park

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