|Gamble Mansion & Plantation State Park - Page one of three
Late afternoon panoramas taken during a brief visit to the Gamble Mansion & Plantation State Park near Palmetto in Manatee County.
What follows is an excerpted description of the plantation taken from the historical marker on the grounds:
At the close of the Seminole War in 1842, this frontier was opened to settlement. Major Robert Gamble and other sugar planters
soon located along the rich Manatee River valley, and by 1843 a dozen plantations were producing for the New Orleans market.
The Gamble Mansion, built principally of native materials, 1845-1850, is an outstanding example of ante-bellum construction
and stands today as a monument to pioneer ingenuity and craftsmanship. The plantation included 3,500 acres, numerous
outbuildings, slave quarters, and wharf from which sugar and molasses were shipped by schooner and steamboat.
The Gamble sugar mill, one of the South’s largest, was destroyed by Union raiders in 1864. . . . During the Civil War the mansion
was the home of Captain Archibald McNeill, famous Confederate blockade runner. Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of
State, took refuge here during May 1865 while making his escape from Federal troops following the defeat of the Confederacy.
The mansion was rescued from decay in 1923 by the Judah P. Benjamin Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
---from the Florida Parks and Historic Memorials marker erected in 1969. Go to Page Two of Three > > >