Ellenton in Manatee County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Gamble Mansion and Plantation
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 1845 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 3500 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. Ruins are located ½ mile north on State Road 683. 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 defeat of the Confederacy. The mansion was rescued from decay in 1923 by the Judah P. Benjamin
Erected 1969 by Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials in cooperation with the Judah P. Benjamin Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (Marker Number F-162.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Agriculture • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 20, 1865.
Location. 27° 31.345′ N, 82° 31.603′ W. Marker is in Ellenton, Florida, in Manatee County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Patten Avenue and Central Avenue. This Florida State Park is open Thursday-Monday 9-5. Tours of the inside of the house ($5) generally run hourly. The original furnishings burned in a fire in a warehouse, but era-style items and flooring have been replaced. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3708 Patten Avenue, Ellenton FL 34222, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Craig Sugar Mill Chimney (approx. half a mile away); Gamble Sugar Cane Mill (approx. half a mile away); Site of Atwood Grove and Origin of World's 1st Pink Grapefruit / (approx. 1.2 miles away); Long PierLong Pier Veterans Memorial (approx. 1½ miles away); Braden Castle (approx. 1.6 miles away); Braden Castle Ruins (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Edmund Lee Family Pioneer Cemetery (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ellenton.
Also see . . .
1. Robert Gamble's Sugar Plantation. Tallahassee FLORIDIAN excerpt, 1888 (Submitted on May 15, 2010.)
2. Judah P. Benjamin. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on May 15, 2010.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2009, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. This page has been viewed 3,038 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 27, 2009, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. 6. submitted on May 15, 2010. 7, 8. submitted on January 27, 2009, by Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.