Manatee County

🢁 List of Counties

Manatee County’s history stretches back thousands of years. Long before European settlers arrived, indigenous peoples called this land home. Evidence of their presence can be found in shell middens and archaeological digs throughout the county.

Fast forward to the 1840s, and Manatee County officially entered the scene. Named after the manatees that frequented the region’s waterways, it originally encompassed a vast area, stretching from the Gulf Coast all the way to Lake Okeechobee. Bradenton, initially known as Manatee Village, served as the county seat.

The mid-19th century saw a focus on agriculture, with sugar plantations like the Gamble Plantation flourishing. The Civil War brought its own challenges, but the county persevered. The early 20th century ushered in a period of rapid growth, fueled in part by tourism and the “tin can tourists” who wintered in their makeshift housecars. However, the boom didn’t last, and Manatee County shifted gears once more. Today, it’s a thriving community with a diverse economy, balancing its rich history with a vibrant present.

429,125 (2022)
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