Old Manatee Walking Tours App Launches April 26

Old Manatee Walking Tours App Launches April 26
Posted on 04/15/2019
Old Manatee Walking Tours App Launches April 26 With Public Party

Ever pass by a cool old building in east Bradenton and wonder, “If these buildings could talk?!” Soon people will have the opportunity to learn the history behind some of Manatee’s historical places with the new Old Manatee tour which will go live on the Florida Stories app on Friday, April 26, 2019.

An initiative of the Florida Humanities Council and Manatee Libraries, the Old Manatee Walking Tour is the latest installment of the Florida Stories app. Manatee Libraries received a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, through a competitive proposal process. The project is led by Information Services Librarian David Breakfield and Information Services Supervisor Ericka Dow. Florida Stories supports the creation of cultural, historical and architectural walking tours for communities across the state of Florida and includes dozens of tours from around the state.

“We are excited to provide this interactive, self-paced tour for residents and tourists, so they can immerse themselves in the history and architecture of this early settlement,” said Dow. “We anticipate that this tour will be a complement to the historical tourism efforts already underway by our partners and local museums.”

Sponsored by the Florida Department State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the app-based Old Manatee tour is a collaborative effort involving several partner organizations in Manatee County: Manatee Village Historical Park and Historical Resources (Manatee Clerk of Court), Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Realize Bradenton, Reflections of Manatee and Friends of the Central Library.

The goal of the app is to allow users to learn about the history of some of Florida’s most unique towns at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Situated on the Manatee River, east of US 301, Old Manatee or the original Town of Manatee consisted of several nineteenth and early twentieth century structures, some of which are in their original locations, while some have been moved to the Manatee Village Historical Park. The tour also includes Pelot’s Pharmacy, the original Central Hotel building, the Old Manatee Burying Grounds and information about Angola, where escaped slaves living with Seminoles, sought refuge in the pre-Civil War era in what is now Manatee Mineral Springs Park. Angola was designated recently as a site on the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. A corresponding exhibit, “Angola’s Freedom Seekers and Florida’s Underground Railroad,” is currently open at the Reflections of Manatee Visitors Center.

Old Manatee tour route

Breakfield said that the tour will expand in the short future.

“As plans progress for the expansion of the Riverwalk east of 301, it will extend into the Old Manatee area, linking a walkable tour of local history with new recreational spaces. We look forward to seeing how this unique area develops in the near future,” said Breakfield.

The day of the launch, Manatee Libraries invites the public to a celebration which will take place at Manatee Village Historical Park, one of the partners of the tour and where several of the tour stops are located, from 1 to 3 PM. Manatee Village is located at 1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208. Central Café and The Farm House Donuts are donating refreshments, while Realize Bradenton and the Friends of Central Library are sponsoring drinks and giveaways. No RSVP is necessary.

After the event, attendees are welcome to take the 0.7 miles tour (which normally lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours) on their own or in a group.

More information about the Old Manatee tour on the Florida Stories app can be found at bit.ly/oldmanatee. Additional questions about the app or any of Manatee Libraries’ historical resources can be answered by Information Services librarians by contacting them at reference@mymanatee.org.

For media inquiries, please contact Kelly Foster at kelly.foster@mymanatee.org or 941-748-5555, x6307.

About the Manatee County Public Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and two-time Innovation winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. This past year, Manatee Libraries was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.9 million times (a record high). Downloads of their digital ebook/eaudio/movies have continued to double each year, while technical training and computer assistance were up 16%. The 47,000 customers who attended their wide variety of informational and educational programs and events reflect an increase of 130% since 2006. Please contact Kelly Foster, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, at 941-748-5555, ext. 6307, for any additional information, or visit mymanatee.org/library and follow them at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit mymanatee.org, facebook.com/manatee.county.fl or twitter @ManateeGov