Welcome to Gamble Plantation Historic State Park! Come join us for a look back in time at what plantation life was like at the oldest building in Manatee County! You can escape the heat in our air-conditioned museum as well as experience what it was like to not have power in our historic 1840's Greek Revival style 10 room mansion by guided tour. The Park boasts 17 acres of manicured lawns,...
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In 1843, Major Robert Gamble Jr. established a sugar plantation along the Manatee River, a region then remote from civilization. His mansion took six years to build. Gamble accumulated almost 3,500 acres, but natural disasters and a fickle sugar market drove him into debt by 1856. He sold the plantation in 1859. At the end of the Civil War (1865), the U.S. government ordered Confederate Cabinet members arrested. Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of State, fearing trial for treason, escaped by traveling through Florida. He is thought to have briefly sheltered at the mansion. Benjamin escaped and traveled to England, where he became a barrister. In 1925, the United Daughters of the Confederacy purchased the property and deeded it to the state of Florida. Gamble Mansion and Patten House have been restored to the appearance of their respective historic periods.