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2018 Giving Challenge: Help Us Save Old Cabbage Head

During the 2018 Giving Challenge, the Manatee County Historical Commission focused its historic preservation efforts on saving Old Cabbage Head. Now over 100 years old, Old Cabbage Head is in need of conservation. 

The 2018 Giving Challenge was a great start to meeting our fundraising goals. But we still need your help to make it the rest of the way. You can help preserve local history by contributing to this project!

How do I donate?

There are three main ways to donate to this project:

  1. Make a check out to the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. and mail it to Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208.
  2. Donate with PayPal or credit card here: Support
  3. Donate at during the Giving Challenge. The next Giving Challenge will take place from April 28-29, 2020. Donations during this time will be matched up to $100 by the Patterson Foundation.

What does this project entail?

Exposure to Florida's sun and rain has taken its toll on Old Cabbage Head. The train needs conservation work, but the conservation will only last a few years without a shelter. 

The Manatee County Historical Commission's plan is two-fold: build a shelter to help protect Old Cabbage Head from the weather, and then hire a conservationist to restore the train.

What is the Giving Challenge?

The Manatee County Historical Commission is pleased to share the results of grant project is to develop a survey and master plan to ensure preservation of the historic cemetery thanks to a partnership between the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc., the City of Bradenton, the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court’s Department of Historical Resources, and a grant funded by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the State of Florida. A key component of the project was Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scanning which took place on Friday, March 8, 2019 in the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds. An additional component of the grant funded project was to develop this webpage with a digital map of the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds and links to supporting historical information.

Part of the appeal of this project is answering the frequently asked question of whether unmarked graves exist in all of the apparently open space in the cemetery. It is rumored to be full, having been closed in 1892 to all but a few family burials, with the very last being that of pioneer descendant Eva Gates in 1967. Today, through the use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) the location of unmarked burials may be determined through recording the size, depth, and pattern of ground disturbances within the cemetery. The results of the scan indicated 229 possible burials and the location of former walking paths which have long since been lost to memory. 

The Burying Grounds is the oldest established cemetery in Manatee County. Used by the residents of the Village of Manatee, it was established in 1850 for the pioneer settlers of what became the City of Bradenton. The cemetery contains the remains of such Manatee County notables as  first settlers, Josiah and Mary Gates, fourteen Civil War soldiers (eleven Confederate and three Union), and three members of the Florida Secessionist Convention including John C. Pelot, President of the Convention, and Brevet Brigadier General John Riggin, Aide de Camp to Ulysses S. Grant. In recent years, it has been the site of the historical cemetery drama “Spirit Voices from Old Manatee,” a popular living history event which took place each October from 2011 to 2017.
The cemetery is 1.92 acres in size and is bordered by 15th Street East and 6th Avenue East, in Bradenton. The property is owned and maintained by the City of Bradenton, with public access and programming made available through the Manatee Village Historical Park and the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. 
This culturally significant site is now in the middle of an urban landscape, edged on three sides by roads and highways and on a third side by a public school. It has been subject to vandalism and the ravages of time. This project strives to document, protect, and preserve this important piece of local history as an educational resource for generations to come. After all, every tombstone has a story to tell, and when viewed collectively as a cemetery, these sentinels create an outdoor museum. 

Administrative support for this program is offered by: the Historical Resources Department of Angelina "Angel" Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller and the Manatee County Historical Commission. 

Click here to Download Key to Cemetery Map below.

Due to the size of the document containing the 2109 Manatee Burying Ground Preservation Plan, several sections of the document are available for the public to download below:

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 1 (p.1-11)

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 2 (p.12-21)

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 3 (p.22-32)

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 4 (p.33-42)

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 5 (p.43-50)

Click here to download 2019 Preservation Plan Part 6 (p.51-55)

Below: Survey Map of Known Grave Markers

Below: Survey Map of Ground Penetrating Radar Indicating Possible Burials & Walkways


The Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc.

Manatee Village Historical Park operates thanks to a unique public-private partnership. This partnership exists through the support of the Historical Resources Division of the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller, and the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit community benefit organization. 

The funding received through the Manatee County Clerk's Office provides a modest operating budget for administrative support, regular maintenance, and educational programming, exhibits, and events that are produced for public benefit. But that does not pay the full extent of all that we do here at Manatee Village Historical Park!

The Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. conducts fundraising to help further their mission to "preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County's founding period, 1840-1918." The Commission achieves their mission through advocacy, preservation and education. Initiatives supported by the Commission include restoration efforts at Manatee Village Historical Park, care and maintenance of objects in Manatee Village's collection, and educational programming, exhibits, and events.

A History of Old Cabbage Head

  • Built in 1913
  • Hauled lumber in North Florida, until it was brought to Manatee County in 1948
  • Retired in 1951
  • Moved to the Green Bridge in 1954 to greet visitors to Bradenton
  • Moved to Rossi Waterfront Park in 1984 and was restored
  • Moved to Manatee Village in 2002


1404 Manatee Avenue East 
(SR 64)
Bradenton, FL. 34208



Village Hours

Monday – Friday and 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month

9:00am – 4:00pm

Closed holidays and their corresponding weekends.