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Exhibits and Buildings

Wiggins General Store
Park offices, a museum, and the Whistle Stop Gift Shop are located in the 1903 Wiggins General Store

Boat Works
The Fogarty Boatworks is a reminder of pioneer days when residents depended upon the Manatee River for transportation.

Settler's Home
The Settlers House was constructed in 1912 by the Will Stephens Family. It was located on a farm near the community of Ona.

The smokehouse and sugar cane mill and kettle were important parts of a pioneer farm. They were used to preserve meat and to make cane syrup.

The 1887 church took two years to build. It was originally the home of the Union Congregation, which later became the Methodist-Episcopal Church South.

Courthouse Interior
All government activities for the sprawling 5,000 square mile wilderness took place in this courtroom.

Cow hunter bunkhouse
Florida’s cattlemen preferred to be called cow hunters rather than cowboys. This Cow Hunter’s bunkhouse is typical of the small shelters once dotting the Florida wilderness. It provided lodging for the cow hunters as they crossed Florida rounding up their cattle.

Wiggins store interior
King Wiggins built the store from bricks shipped in on the railroad. The store served the Town of Manatee. Upstairs, Wiggins operated a boarding house for visitors who came from miles away to shop in his store.

Boat Works
Built by a Bat Fogarty, a member of a boatbuilding and seafaring family, the boatshop contains original tools and equipment.

Pioneer farmhouse interior
It is a typical Florida pioneer farmhouse and has been referred to as “Cracker Gothic” in design.

Florida barns did not have to be as large as their northern counterparts. Florida barns do not house animals which can stay outside all year long in the mild climate, but seeds, tools and equipment.

Manatee County was formed in 1855. Five years later, the community built this small wood framed courthouse.

The community of Bunker Hill, located in Manatee County’s northeast corner built this one room schoolhouse in 1908. It was a “strawberry school” as the children only attended class from August to December. During the rest of the year, they worked on their family’s farm.

Steam Engine
This steam engine, known as Old Cabbage Head, got its name from its rounded smokestack. It served in northern Florida as part of the turpentine industry before coming to Manatee to shuttle supplies for the Manatee-Nocotee Crate Company.