Anna Maria in Manatee County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Gateway to Historic Tampa Bay
Less than a mile to the north lies Passage Key, marking the southerly entrance into Tampa Bay. Since Ponce de Leon explored this coast in 1513, this island has served to guide ships into the great bay beyond, called by early Spanish explorers “Bahia del Espiritu Santo.” After being named “Isla de San Francisco y Leon” by the Spanish in 1757, and renamed “Burnaby Island" by the English in 1765, it was later called “Pollux Key,” corresponding with the name “Castor Key” given to nearby Egmont Key. The island finally became known as "Cayo del Paseje” in 1783, during the second Spanish occupation. This is the origin of today's name - Passage Key. Formerly much larger than it is today, the island contained a fresh water lake surrounded by large trees.
During the early 1830's Passage Key was the site of a fishing “rancho” operated by Baltimore sea captain, William Bunce. The island was later a haven for refugees seeking safety from marauding Indian war parties. The fresh water lake, probably spring fed, was a watering station for coastal voyagers. In 1836, the U.S. Schooner Grampus and Revenue Cutters Washington and Jefferson anchored close ashore while their guns and shore parties protected settlers from the Indians.
Erected 2008 by Florida Maritime Historical Society, Dewey A. Dye, Jr. in cooperation with Department of State. (Marker Number F-253.)
Location. 27° 32.101′ N, 82° 44.134′ W. Marker is in Anna Maria, Florida, in Manatee County. Marker can be reached from North Bay Boulevard 0.3 miles north of Pine Avenue. Touch for map. The marker is located at Bayfront Park, between the picnic area and the beach. Marker is at or near this postal address: 316 North Bay Boulevard, Anna Maria FL 34216, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. “Bean's Point” / Early Legend (within shouting distance The Anna Maria Pier (approx. ¼ mile away); The City of Anna Maria Historical Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Island Playhouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort De Soto Batteries and Military Post (approx. 5.6 miles away); DeSoto Trail (approx. 5.6 miles away); The Village of Cortez (approx. 5.7 miles away); Palma Sola Community Church (approx. 5.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anna Maria.
Also see . . .
1. Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One of the first national wildlife refuges, Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1905. This 30-acre meandering barrier island was once a mangrove island with a fresh water lake but a hurricane in 1920 had destroyed most of the island. The island hosts the largest royal tern and sandwich tern colonies in the state of Florida. (Submitted on March 20, 2014, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
2. Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1905 by Teddy Roosevelt. (Submitted on March 20, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Exploration • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 19, 2014, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 580 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 20, 2014, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. 3. submitted on March 20, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on March 20, 2014, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.