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Guest Speakers & Outreach Lectures

The mission of Manatee Village Historical Park is “to preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County’s founding period (1840-1918).” We present lectures on a wide range of topics related to our mission, including pioneer history in Florida, historic preservation, the history of Manatee Village Historical Park, and more!

Currently, there is no required honorarium, but donations are always appreciated.

Available Lecture Topics

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures are 45-60 minutes long. Topic requests are granted based upon speaker availability. Should a topic be unavailable, a substitute topic will be offered. Lecture topics may be added or removed from this page as new lectures are written. 

Making History

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Image courtesy of MVHP Staff

Learn about Manatee Village, how it got started, and what structures we have at our site that exemplify the lives of early settlers. (20-30 Minutes)

A Short History of Coloring Cloth: When the World was Dying for Color

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Image courtesy of the NYC MET

Learn about the history of (discovery of) coal-tar dyes in the mid-19th century, and especially the problems with green dyes that were found to be poisonous.

Pioneer Women of Manatee

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Image courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Digital Collection

Learn more about the trials and triumphs that pioneer women of the Village of Manatee encountered while settling the area we now call home.

Cemeteries as History

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Image Courtesy of MVHP Staff

Learn about how you can view cemeteries in a new light by viewing them as a method of research and historical resource!

Manatee History Day


Learn about an exciting educational program available to Manatee County students and the adult volunteer opportunities that make it possible.

Mayhem in Manatee


Image Courtesy of the Manatee County Public Library Digital Collection

Learn about the dangers and terrors of the Sarasota Vigilantes during the 1880s. It’s a presentation of “disastrous proportions"

Genealogy Basics

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Have you wanted to get started on researching your family’s history but don’t know where to get started? Our staff can help you with some tips and tricks to get things moving.

Victorian Mourning

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"The Lost Found," A R Wald, courtesy of the Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College

Learn about how the 600,000 deaths during the American Civil War forced the change of mourning culture in the South.

Living off the Land

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Image courtesy of State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Explore how settlers in the mid 1800s through the early 1900s took advantage of readily available natural resources of the land and sea. 

Kisses and Misses

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Image Courtesy of the Manatee County Public Library Digital Collection

Learn about the romantic (and not so romantic) stories from Manatee's past.

Tourism in Manatee


Image Courtesy of MCHS Archives

Learn about how and why Florida & Manatee County became a hub for tourism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Please note

  • Guest speaker requests are restricted to a 20 mile radius of Manatee village historical Park in Bradenton, FL. 

  • When selecting your preferred topic, please keep in mind that each request is granted based on speaker availability. We will do our best to accommodate the date, time, and topic you prefer but, on some occasions, we may have to offer a substitute. If that is the case, you will be contacted immediately upon receipt of your application.

  • Please note that presentations are offered based upon staff expertise and availability, and the availability of historical records and information relative to a given subject. The subjects offered on this list will change from time to time based upon the above. We welcome suggestions for future offerings, however, it is not the policy of Manatee Village staff to craft custom presentations upon request due to the demands this places on staff time.

  • Speakers are not permitted to personally accept money or gifts that are not directed for Manatee Village Historical Park use.

  • The venue is expected to provide a projector and screen for the presentation. Speakers will bring their own laptop and an HDMI cable.

Download the Guest Speaker Request form here.

Availability varies based on upcoming events and staff schedules.

To check availability, email

or call 941-749-7165.

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